eBrandz Blog

Is Apple distancing itself from Google and moving closer to Facebook?

With the iPhone now accounting for about 58 percent of its revenue in the latest quarter, Apple is constantly looking to upgrade its operating system in order to overpower the devices running Android that made for almost 60 percent of smartphone shipments globally in the first financial quarter, compared with 23 percent of the iPhone, according to IDC.

Apple just unveiled a host of software features for its mobiles and computers which placed erstwhile partner Google right in its path. Speaking at their annual developer conference, Apple chief Tim Cook along with other key executives unveiled no major surprises to its existing product line. But they did showcase several new software programs as a whole underscoring how the company is keen to distance itself from Google.

Among them are a mapping- navigation service to replace Google Maps as the default feature on iPads and iPhones. Apple also highlighted the comprehensive nature of the local search service, integrated with Siri, its voice-activated ‘virtual assistant’. The company also struck a pending deal with Facebook, considered Google rival, for integrating various services.

At several points during the keynote, Apple’s senior V-P (iOS software), Scott Forstall, mentioned of areas where the mobile software outperformed Android software, like user satisfaction. Referring apparently to Android, he stated that over 75 percent of customers happened to check the top box, very satisfied, in comparison to less than 50 percent for the competition.”

A Google spokesperson refused to make any comment on competition with Apple. However, the company officially stated that it had been ‘working on maps for many years’ and was ‘looking forward to continuing to build the perfect map for users in the months and years ahead.” In fact, both are up from 36.1 percent and 18.3 percent respectively, the year-ago quarter, even as rivals such as Nokia  (14.34 percent) and Research In Motion (4.27 percent) have struggled.

Presentation of the keynote resembled a light-hearted sporting event at times as attendees spontaneously cheered new technical features like  more memory and higher-resolution displays on new MacBook Pro laptops, apart from little tweaks such as an iPhone feature that will allow people to utilize the ‘Facetime video chat’ facility on cellular networks.

Many moves could well challenge Google, according to analysts, even though the latter remains the default search service provider on both iPads and iPhones. As is evident, the mapping service as well as enhancements made to ‘Siri’ suggest a clear challenge to Google’s search & ad business,” according to market observers.

Developers, about 5,000 of them, revealed they were excited to check many of the mobile software features, the mapping application particular. Apple has been developing the service for years. It has a mode to view areas in 3-dimensions, combined with a local search service plus turn-by-turn in-car use driving directions.

Apple tried to do away with issues that seemingly nag consumers, inserting a ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature for avoiding undesirable messages at night time. Passbook, a new app, organizes loyalty cards, tickets, boarding passes etc to display the right card if and when needed. Also, users can scan the device to make use of a coupon, leading to speculation that the new service was actually a placeholder for an impending payments product.