I’ve had a lot of trouble getting a clear view of Google in terms of where it’s headed. In terms of products and from a user perspective, it’s a lot easier to understand. Google is trying to be self-sufficient. I wrote about this when I discussed living in a Google world.
Eventually, you could get energy from Google that would you connect to your Google fiber or Google balloons in order to get online. You could do it through your Nexus phone/tablet, a Google tv, etc.
Once you’re online, you could:
-search the web with google
-get your email in gmail
-view videos on Youtube
In fact, Google has since confirmed it was going to build its own cars so really, at some point, you would end up using Google for a large portion of your life.
Apple also announced major initiatives this week related to a smart home, a health platform in addition to CarPlay. So you might think that Apple ($AAPL) and Google are on path for a big collision.
The Biggest Difference Between Apple and Google
There is one key difference in my opinion though.
Apple is building platforms:
iTunes: Apple has partnerships with music labels, movie studios, app makers, etc
CarPlay: Apple has partnered with car makers from all around the world
HealthKit: Apple will make it easier for outside companies to build products that integrate into HealthKit
HomeKit: The smart home is coming and Apple wants to be in the middle of it by building an infrastructure
Google is building products:
-purchased Nest which builds thermostats and fire alarms
-developing Google glasses
-providing internet to the world (fiber, etc)
-buying robot making companies
You get the picture.
Apple is building a platform and concentrating its energy on what it considers the “key” features such as some hardware (iPhone, iPad, macbooks, etc) and specific software (O/S, maps, messenging, etc).
Google is trying to do (nearly) everything itself. Even in areas where it needs others, such as bringing a Youtube streaming product to the market, Google has been unable to partner with music labels in the same way that Apple has so far been able to do it.
Time will tell which works best and you could certainly argue that in terms of maps, Apple ended up paying for relying on a partner. That is likely to happen again.
I’d still much rather own a company that has a clear focus on what it’s trying to accomplish and is able to leverage its “dominant” ecosystem position rather than a company that operates as if it wanted to become self-sufficient.
Disclosure: Long Apple (AAPL)