The sometimes friendly, oftentimes incestuous relationship between Apple and Google is rapidly drawing to a close. The Wall Street Journal reports that the two tech giants are at each other's throats competing for the same Silicon Valley start-ups, with Apple's acquisition of La La Media Inc. being only the latest example. Where will Apple, already besieged, find the fiercest competition? Here's a look at the lucrative battlegrounds where tech specialists see the two behemoths starting to clash:
  • Video  Detailing Apples expansion into video, Wired's Brian Chen points to the company's addition of video cameras on iPhone and iPod Nano, its iPhone apps with video streaming capability; and its construction of a 500,000 square-foot data center supplying the bandwidth for video streaming. The move poses a threat to Google's YouTube-led dominance of the personal video sharing market:
All these recent developments point to a significant new strategic market for Apple: personal broadcasting, or sharing personal experiences. YouTube and Flip are already big players in this young space, and the logical competitive move for Apple is to make personal media deliverable and accessible anytime, anywhere.
When it comes to Apple, there is one thing that they’ve done that no one has been able to beat yet, and that is their Apple iTunes music store ...That being said, I wouldn’t count Google out of the music business yet. They may surprise us all and keep the music card up their sleeve only to unveil it at a future date. If Google is getting into the game of selling netbooks and phones with their own operating system on it, what’s stopping them from creating their own music player and an operating system for an mp3 player? If that happened, then a music store would make more sense.
  • Mobile  "Some of iPhone’s closest rivals, like the Motorola Droid, use the Google Android software. In addition, Google is also reportedly involved in talks with handset makers urging them to build phones with more prominent Google branding and more built-in Google applications."
  • Operating Systems  Challenging Apple's Operating System, Mike Bracco at The Next Web writes that Google is releasing its new Chrome OS in the second half of 2010. Chrome is geared towards "users who spend the majority of their time on the web" and "will certainly drive innovation and force Microsoft and Apple to evaluate their operating systems," Bracco writes.
  • Browsers  Touching on the browser war as well, Julie McCormick at Search Engine Journal writes:
For several years, Google pushed the Mozilla Firefox browser as a better alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. In December 2008, however, they publicly launched their own browser – Google Chrome. So yes, they are a few years behind Apple in the browser arena, but Google has shown the world before that it’s not a deterrent or impediment to their success.