Apple vs Google – iPhone vs. Droid…We All Win

Competition is awesome.

An extremely high level of competition is even better. There are only two technology companies and their products that I care about on a daily basis (save Stocktwits and Twitter), Apple and Google.

They both build the products that I rely on for productivity..

Of course I care about my STOCK holdings in Amazon $AMZN , Intuit $INTU, Ariba $ARBA , RightNow $RNOW and Rackpace $RAX but they are peripheral to the war I see.

Fred Wilson is today outlining the big gains he was predicting for Google and Droid and their future dominance, so take a good read. I don’t own Google stock at the moment, but it always feels like I will be paying up once again.

I view it differently than Fred, having used an HTC/Droid for a few months and now fully switched and LOVING the iPhone with Verizon.

To me, the Apple store matters. Apple is light years ahead of Google in the ‘experience’ of getting products into customer hands. Apple also controls the design so while it may never appeal to everyone, it will always be the best feel. Google has the distribution points and is winning the tactical distribution war today but Apple will squeeze the life out of Droid in the LONBG-RUN and for Steve Jobs, this quarter or next don’t matter.

I love that both companies are attacking the space with such hunger and efficiency and are taking risks around price and user experience, but Apple $AAPL is the stock I would buy on weakness, not Google.


  1. Here why the iPhone is #WINNING

    1) There ar over 80 kinds of Droid phones out there
    2) iPhone, there is only 1 (OK, technically 4 types but they are not different phones, just updated version)

    and yet i see everyone with iPhones (and growing)

    $AAPL #winning
    $GOOG 2nd place

    Do I dare mention $NOK,$MOT, and $RIMM ?

    • Mohammad Azimi says:

      “and yet i see everyone with iPhones (and growing)”

      Woah, this guy has scientific-sampling vision.

    • carlos eduardo says:

      If you didn’t know, you shoulded’ve ask. Google’s android is the world most popular smartphone os. And iphone is not even second. After google is nokia,after nokia is rim(blackberry) and then is when apple comes up. And we all know google will control 48 percent of the world’s smartphone market by 2012 so apple dont even say a word. Google # 1 apple # 4.

  2. TrendRida says:

    The best AAPL related article I read this week was a Q&A with Boss Bob Bowman. Bowman says “The iPhone and iPad user is interested in buying content–that’s one of the reasons they bought the device. The Android buyer is different.” In other words, Adroid types wants free stuff. It is hard to re-invest free into more content creation or R&D. Without continued re-investment a company will die. There is a price to be paid for free. Apple understands this Google doesn’t.

    • love that. Google is amazing but as gurley says, they are building a moat.
      they will kill almost everyone, but they are doing it legally. they will
      also make the winners that much more stronger.

      exciting times.

      • TrendRida says:

        A guy over on AVC referred me to Gurley’s article. Here is my response:

        I read that article. “Android, as well as Chrome and Chrome OS for that matter, are not “products” in the classic business sense. They have no plan to become their own “economic castles.” ” In other words Google is going to remain a one-trick pony living off of Adwords. If that is the path that they want to take that’s fine, but the stock will suffer and is suffering.

        If Google wants to be an advertising company – the MKT will give it an ad company multiple. Good luck retaining engineers & execs with that stock. Not to mention future acquisitions…

  3. Steven says:

    one needs to define winning and of course ther can be more than one winner. i see iphones everywhere with the 13 to 30 generation and ipads everywhere (no other tablets) when I travel in US and England (on the road 1-2 x a month). Revenue and profits are improtant to Apple, investors and especially for developers. They need to get paid or they stop developing. Free apps are great but the paid ones are what the developers want. Goog wants ad/search revenue. I couldnt care less if I use google, bing, yahoo or whatever. I care about the phone/tablet and the user experience.

  4. SteveD- says:

    Hi Howard, my concern with this kind of a trend is the ‘winner take most scenario.’ Usually this is considered good for consumers in the near term because of lower costs. That doesn’t seem to be true in this case because at the consumer level the devices are at par. In the long run ‘winner take most’ both stiffles innovation and costs the consumer more because the winner can increase prices at will. Witness Ebay, MSOffice, Adobe, etc.

    • early days so all this stuff is so speculative gto write about. there was
      no iphone 5 years ahgo so nobody really knows who will win.

      i do this the apple genius bars are tthe great differentiator and both att,
      best buy and verizon hurt google not help long run

      google needs to open droid and google experience stores…

        • not sure about scared but just how clueless google is about their own
          possibilities and lack of vision around small business and consumer.
          frightening how far behind . they could leapfrog microsoft store concepot
          in an hour.

      • TrendRida says:

        “google needs to open droid and google experience stores…”

        GOOG is already the OS R&D department for MOT, HTC, etc. – now the have to also become the Marketing departments for them as well. When does it stop. I’m predicting that Larry Page’s head will be on a platter in 2 years…..

  5. Martin says:

    Well said, Fred has it wrong here unfortunately – just as he was with the iPad (his initial posting on the iPad was that it was a useless device that maybe he would attach to his treadmill while he is running. he later changed his tune on it).
    People who are going for Android devices are either 1) technophiles who like hacking/toying around with stuff or 2) people who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a phone.

    The game is wide open. Apple can come down on their price points. Carriers can continue to merge and refuse to heavily subsidize phones – this matters, especially in the case of Android devices where it can bring the price of the phone down to free. Who know what else will go on – but most people purchase the iPhone because it’s the iPhone, whereas they purchase the Android because it’s a cheap smartphone.

    • i was exactly right about ipad for wrong reasons…i think the ipad will
      ripopen the financial terminal and desktop lock of bloomberg and hedge

      ipad is day pone and so are iphones….smartphones have been around forever,
      just they were dumphones for rich tinkerers.

      i want a google and intuit store experience and than the game gets
      interesting long term.

      • Anonymous says:

        No people who didn’t own a iDevice don’t know better. They think they’re crapdroids are just as good.
        How can those be so ignorant.
        I have used iPhone 3G, 3GS, an HTC Desire and a SamSUCK Galaxy S.
        So I know the different platforms, but after using the 2 crapdroid devices, I’ll never make that mistake again. Loving my iPhone 4, and iPad now, can’t wait for the 19th of April when my new iPad 2 will be delivered.

  6. Tyler Hayes says:

    “I view it differently than Fred” What specifically do you view differently? Seems like you agree on most things.

  7. Shawn Sajadi says:

    From a hardware perspective…

    Droid users (techies?) love specs. They love their 4.3inch screen, dual-core CPU’s, 1 gig RAM, HDMI connector, etc… BUT, I think we’re getting really close to a time when having all these crazy battery-draining specs won’t have much incremental value added. Jobs pitched this movement during the last keynote (‘post-pc’.) I know several friends who went with Droid just for the hardware. They figured it was the only way to have a ‘come-back/rebuttal’ to their friends with iPhone’s.

    It’s probably soon where most Droid-heads will realize this and start looking elsewhere and be more interested in *what* they can do with their device rather than pump the crazy specs.

    • carlos eduardo says:

      You just don’t know what you are saying. One of the phones with the specs you just mentioned is the motorola atrix 4g which has a dual core processor,one gb of ram,hdmi,pc dock, etc. Now the point is,this phone can manage to give 9 hours of talking time while the iphone can only deliver 6 hours so what you are saying in crap.

  8. Alok Saboo says:

    If this was meant to be a comparison between HTC/Droid and iPhone, then you are right that iPhone may be ahead of these phones in terms of “experience”. However, the conclusion that you draw that Apple will beat Google in the long run is a huge leap.

    Apple seems to be leading in terms of providing a great mobile experience. However, on all other counts, Google seems to be beating the S^%$ out of Apple. The number of apps in the Android Market place are growing at a huge rate. The latest Android OS seems to be addressing many of the concerns that you have raised. Admittedly, it is not perfect yet, but so is the iOS. Google already has overtaken Apple in terms of market share. Further, some of the steps that Google is taking, (e.g., stricter controls) will address the fragmentation and other such issues, ultimately benefiting the consumers.

    There is no doubt that Apple will remain a formidable player in this space, but Google is well placed to lead this the mobile space.

    Honestly, it does not really matter who wins, as long someone keeps producing great products for all of us. The Apple vs. Google fight is just accelerating the pace of innovation and hope it continues in the future :)

      • Alok Saboo says:

        Well, you already have an alternative in the Amazon App store. I am sure Google will update its store eventually, but in the meantime this is a great alternative.

        • they have a LOT to prove.

          everyone is assuming the people that matter are so cheap because of web

          apple has a masssive massive head start on itunes and mindshare.

          google is awesome, amazoin is awwesome, own em all and hope thebankers and
          government dont fuck it up.

          • Alok Saboo says:

            I am completely with you on this. Apple has a huge head start, but given the rapid pace of innovation in this space, it may not mean much. Remember, how Apple/Googel have completely dislodged Nokia from its space.

            I was reading this post on TechCrunch (useless post, I must say), but their wishlist from iOS5 is exactly what Android already offers. Apple seems to be ignoring the needs of the power users, but remember that the power users may be few in numbers, but they have a huge influence.

  9. Heiditwit says:

    Apple may have a wonderful user experience, but I want flash so that I can look at a chart. Android has it.

  10. chris says:

    First of all guys, there are only 4 droid phones out there(3 by Moto, 1 by Htc)
    Everything else is an Android device.

    I really don’t see what you guys see so much on the iOS, I have the Atrix which has a dual core processor(which is the same one the iPhone 5 is going to have), 1 gb of ddr2 ram…these specs are unheard of in a phone

    I didn’t care about anything financially wise as I spent 200 on this phone and im not a tech junkie but I know my specs, that being said, there is nothing the iOS could do that my phone can’t (including flash and the qHD display) not bashing on the iphone but I just feel Apple ties you down to their likings an

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