Google and Apple Get Ready for a TV War

March 25, 2010

Google and Apple, once the best of friends, now find themselves competing with each other on several fronts. When the iPhone was first released, Google and Apple’s partnership was at its height.  But with Google’s release of the Andriod phones and its own operating system and Apple’s interest in the search market, the relationship has soured. Details of the feud can be found in this NYTimes article. Kinda’ reminds me of when Microsoft and IBM fought over OS/2 and Windows.

Now it appears that both Apple and Google are readying themselves to battle over your TV screen.  Apple is already in the market with “AppleTV”.  Calling it a “hobby”, it has always been a small part of Apple’s business.  According to AppleInsider, they are now looking to release an actual HDTV with AppleTV incorporated into it.  In another words, they are interested in doing for TV what they did for the smart phone.

Google is not resting on its laurels either.  According to the NYTimes, they are readying their own set top box along with partners Sony and Logitech (makers of our favorite remote the Harmony).  Google’s approach is similar to the one they have taken with their Andriod phone, they are looking to create an open platform.  It will probably be an ecosystem where any content provider such as Amazon, NetFlix, Blockbuster or Walmart can play (yes, Walmart is looking to offer movies on-line).  The nice thing is that everyone gets a piece of the action while Google still collects lots of data on you.

Apple’s approach is quite different.  While they would offer another version of their App store that’s easy to write for, it’s another envionment they want to strictly control.  They have to approve your apps.  They get to sell all of the TV shows, movies and music.  While its a closed system, it will probably be easy to use and elegant.  Instead of paying the cable company, you may just buy a TV subscription through iTunes.

At the end of the day, this is all about the battle for eyeballs.  There are only so many places you can look at every day and both companies are looking to have a big piece of the action.

We are probably more than a year from seeing an offering from either company.  Who do you think will control the TV?  Total domination by either one would not be good for the consumer.

Tags: Apple, Google

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