Opinion: Google starts its Android photocopiers as Apple preps for Fall

Apple [AAPL] is getting ready to begin launch of a salvo of products this Fall, while Google starts its photocopiers all over again.

[ABOVE: "We could merge the companies and call them, 'AppleGoo'," says Google's Eric Schmidt at 2007's iPhone launch. "But I'm not a marketing guy".]

Google says its time for an iWatch

You see, the Wall Street Journal reports Google plans its own Android-powered smartwatch and gaming console products in order to "compete" with Apple's anticipated iWatch and Apple television releases. Given speculation of Apple's plans for wearable computing and console gaming go back years, it's not hard to figure out where Google got its game plan.

Many people look to Google through a set of rose-tinted Google Glass goggles. They see the company as some form of creative powerhouse, a champion of openness and standards.

I don't agree. I see a firm that cuts corners (eg mobile device security) in its software/product design. A firm that makes a living by placing ads around other people's creative content; that irresponsibly abuses market position to counter competition; a firm that plays fast and loose with customer's privacy. I see a firm that regularly attends those shadowy Bilderberg group meetings.

I don't think Google is our friend.

Contrasting values

It's a complete contrast to Apple's approach. Apple fights competitors by attempting to build better products. Sure, critics point to its closed product ecosystem, and I feel that's a reasonable criticism. However, it's inarguable that Apple's decision to operate within that closed ecosystem gives it the chance to develop solutions that work better than most everything else. It doesn't need to compromise on hardware or software design.

One thing Apple doesn't seem to do is make products simply because other people make them. It hasn't made any kind of whispered revelations concerning a Google Glass competitor. It doesn't compete for the sake of it. It competes where it can make a difference.

Google does compete for the sake of it. It must. That firm's self-centric worldview casts itself as the shining path to salvation. From that perspective it sees that what is good for Google must be good for the world. And when it isn't, it isn't Google that must change, but the other guys. Google is always the good guy, even when it is bad.

This also means that if others have a great idea, Google has to imitate it, applying just enough invention to create a product paradigm that competes, while inevitably offloading the difficult stuff -- such as risking the cost of manufacture -- to others. Once again, other than the OS, Google doesn't actually create anything, bar the occasional first to market proof of concept device, it doesn't risk. It doesn't commit. It leaves the heavy lifting to partners while grabbing as much user data and ads revenue as it can through the exercise.

Google plans smartwatch and console

That 'thermonuclear' thing

I can't help but regard Google as a symbiotic parasite that exists on the side of the Internet, devouring user data while using that data to sell ads, irrespective of content. Everything it gives has a price.

Many Phandroids point to some of the last words of Apple's Steve Jobs. In the last few months of his life, Jobs was still reeling at what he saw as Google's traitorous behaviour when that company's then CEO, Eric Schmidt, left Apple's board shortly after an iOS-like Android was introduced. (And isn't the body language telling in the picture to the left?)

The dying technology leader was furious, he saw Android as a "stolen product." He swore Apple would go "thermonuclear" in order to prove this. He was incandescent to see his life's work trampled by a traitorous enemy. I'm sure I'd be angry, too, if, in my dying days, someone who had claimed to be my friend turned out to be my biggest foe. I'd probably indulge in a little trash talking myself. Given the vituperative nature of some Phandroid commenters, it seems likely many Google fans would be equally annoyed.

In context, news that Google is preparing to compete with Apple's rumoured Apple television and iWatch devices isn't such a surprise. It's just more of the same from a firm that only cares about itself.

Anybody in the tech industry should look to Google and feel confident that, should it succeed in devouring Apple's business, it will then move on to devour any other profitable enterprise with the 'Net at its core.

In other words, today Google's Android-driven photocopier army marches on Cupertino. Tomorrow that army will march on you.

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