Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Apple vs Google. "Closed" vs "Open".

Steve & Apple Inc.Image by marcopako  via Flickr

I hate when some people give name calling to companies like Apple. Below is my respond to one of the Forum post in Low Yat Net.
This is also a continuation of my article posted regarding "Are you an Android or iOS Fan?"


Both Apple and Google have to different business strategy.
You cannot simply start calling names Apple as "n00bs" market segment or "kiddie toys" when you don't know how much Apple is worth as a Company nowadays.

Google makes money out of its advertising business. Thus, data, information and knowledge is very important for them. Google is not in the business of hardware like Apple. That's why they gave out Android almost for free (or totally free probably) to handset makers. Google is very clever in trying to make all smartphones to have Android. When people use their device, they will capture the user profile. Smartphones are more personal than normal desktops. Thus, usage of smartphones can be leverage by Google for Advertisements. Users are being profiled this way.

Now Google is moving another step further into the realm of "Internet of Things" or IoT. Why Google is interested in this? My personal opinion is that they would like to capture the profile of "Things" such as Fridge, Cars, Electrical appliances etc. These "things" will have sensors that sends out data. And this data is what Google is interested. In future, Google will exactly know what devices or "things" in your house and what are your buying preferences (brands, types etc).

But Apple Inc, is not trying to capture this market. They have tried to open their Macintosh OS to other hardware players previously but it failed. To understand why Apple have a "closed" system is to understand Apple history and how Steve Jobs built the Company. This is a long story and I suggest read the latest "Steve Jobs" book. But to make it short, Steve wanted to make his product a perfect product and closed. That's why people even have difficulty to open up Apple products without a proper tool (Apple even design a special screwdriver to open up their product). They don't even allow user to change the iPhone battery so easily! (Take a look at Samsung phone - see how many people in the Forum is trying to buy spare batteries!!).

Steve Jobs is meticulous in designing Apple products. Before Steve joined back Apple, the company has so many products that they need a Chart to show the product line. Steve terminated so many and finally chose a few to continue. Apple iOS is closed and they never allow users to mod it. But the hackers are always 1-step ahead of Apple. This cat-and-mouse game of Jailbreaking will always continue but that's what excite some of the users.

But why Apple chose a "closed" system as their business strategy? Apple not only in the software business but also in hardware business (unlike Google). Thus, selling hardware is also their main business and the only way is to ensure they control the Quality of their products is to have a "closed" system. Apple has Millions of users even before they launched iPhones. iPods and iTunes are the beginning of their Apple eco-system - now they have entered the music industry with iTunes and iPods/iPod Touch, TV industry with their Apple TV, phone industry with their iPhones, Games and Media industry with their iPads, Computing industry with their Macs and Cloud business with their iCloud.
As for the "closed eco-system" users, they will benefit from high quality and seamless usage experience (if you were to choose all products from Apple). What's more important for these kind of users are productivity and change the world with Apple products. Unlike most Android users who always "kill their time" with "modding" their gadgets but not doing so much about productivity (my personal opinion when reading the Forum posts).

Thus - Apple is not a eyeing a "n00b" market segment and neither its iPhone is a "kiddie" toy.
Learn more about both Companies and you will respect both of them. Its either you are in the "open" market segment or "closed" market" segment.

Its either you love it or hate it.



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