Bob Dylan Knows That Google Has Toppled Apple

Scott is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

In January 2007, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) made an announcement that fundamentally shifted people's conceptions of what a cell phone could be. Five months later the first iteration of the iPhone became available to the public.

And although it may not have been a “jingle-jangle morning,” Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) did go following when they released the Android in October, 2008. 

Inventing the tablet market, in January, 2010 Apple unveiled the iPad, which Steve Jobs proclaimed to be , “. . . our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.”

And although it may not have been a “jingle-jangle morning," Google followed and released the Nexus 7 in June, 2012.  Evidently, consumers were willing to wait, it's estimated that Google sold 4 million units in 2012 and will sell 10 million in 2013. 

Has Google taken the lead though?

The Times They Are A-Changin’

For the first time in a long time, it feels as though Apple is headed for a miss. If the rumors and speculations are true, Apple will soon be announcing the development of an iWatch. What this device will actually do is unknown, and although Apple has surprised us before, this time it seems more pressing to question whether Apple has invented something that we never knew we really needed? Is this just post-Steve Jobs jitters? Maybe, but nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how Tim Cook navigates the waters of this product launch.

It might be early, but it doesn't look like Google is following so closely this time. Why would they? It seems as if they are usurping Apple’s role as the innovator. If Google Glass lives up to the hype that it has been garnering recently, it will most definitely position itself as the product with the greatest “cool factor.” According to the Google website, someone wearing the glasses will be able to do things like take a photo, record video, and perform an internet search-- all done through voice commands.

Additionally, it will be interesting to see how Google's voice recognition software compares to Siri. I, like many others, find that Siri can make things a lot easier at times, but it is fairly inconsistent. It's never quite as easy to use as  Samuel L. Jackson, John Malkovich, and Zooey Deschanel make it seem. 

Highway ’61 Revisited

Of course, one’ll have to wait until these products are actually available before making any claims that Google has taken a significant bite out of Apple. Or maybe we won’t have to wait, for Google is making inroads in other areas of technological innovation. Take driving for one. Google maintains that they’ve driven over 200,000 miles throughout California in their new driverless cars. Yeah, but they’ll never be actually driven on streets in my town, you say? Not so fast. Driverless cars are a reality—at least in California, Florida, and Nevada, where they are legal.

I don’t see Apple bragging about any driverless cars.

All Along the Watchtower

Okay. Maybe people won’t be on a tower, but they’ll be watching—watching to see if the torch is about to be passed from Apple’s Infinity Loop in Cupertino to Google’s Googleplex in Mountain View, California.


Fool blogger Scott Levine does not own any shares in any of the companies mentioned in this entry.

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