When it comes to cutting edge tech products, Apple is on the top of its game. For years,Apple had been an underdog, with its computers ignored by everyone other than education. That is until 2001, when it unveiled one of the most prolific products ever, the Apple iPod. The iPod single handedly changed the tech industry forever. Manufacturers everywhere longed to emulate Apple’s success. Many cell phone manufacturers began adding strong music playback functionality to their products to bridge the gap between cell phone and music player. It was only a matter of time when the leader would once again put out a new product to dominate the market again.
This new product is the Apple iPhone. The sleek and downright gorgeous iPhone is Apple’s catalyst to once again shaping the market.The iPhone, however, is more than just a simple cell phone with multimedia playback functionality. The iPhone is a true handheld computer. Sporting a slimmed down version of Mac OSX, the iPhone sports a high-end camera functionality, web browsing through the Safari software, e-mail, and more.
With Apple’s track record of releasing aesthetically pleasing, yet very reliable products, is there any company that can stand against it? The answer may lie with a company you normally wouldn’t think of when referring to cellular phones.
When Larry Page and Sergey Brin were students at Stanford University, they developed a web application as a research project which analyzed the relationships between websites hoping that it would produce better search results than current search engine methods.
Now, almost 10 years later, Google is the one of the most visited websites on the internet. Google has also become a pioneer in developing free web applications geared to both the personal user and the business user. It’s these web apps that will make Google’s latest announcement, currently simply named “Google Phone”, a force that Apple cannot ignore.
From what the insiders are currently leaking, Google plans to integrate all of its popular web applications into the Google Phone. Google’s impressive portfolio of web applications include a free Microsoft Office competitor, Gmail (providing huge amounts of e-mail space to users while allowing the mail to be instantly searched), instant messaging, picture management and sharing and more.
While this functionality is sure to win over many, the biggest threat to Apple is that Google plans on deploying it’s own cellular network to provide phone services, and not going through an existing network (like Apple’s plans to use the AT T;/Cingular network). Also, with Google’s good habit of giving things away for free, it’s safe to assume that the Google Phone is going to be significantly cheaper than the iPhone, which is currently being priced at $499 and $599 for 4GB and 8GB models respectively.
Both iPhone’s or the refurbished iphone version we sell and the Google Phone look to be great contenders for consumers hard earned money, but it’s far too early to even speculate on who will win this war.
The Google Phone’s extremely tight integration with it’s popular web apps may be one of the best moves that Google has ever done, but it will still be extremely difficult for Google to move in and beat Apple’s track record with the iPod. Also, the iPhone is due out in June, while the Google Phone has no current release day, and it’s safe to say that it’s still a good bit away. By the time the Google Phone is released, the iPhone may have too strong of a market share. For now, let’s just sit back and be amazed at how far cell phone technology has come.