Apple and Google Face Off in Mobile Search and Beyond

  |  June 10, 2010   |  Comments

Apple's emphasis on interactive, dynamic advertising within apps contrasts to the mainly text versions that are a mainstay of Google's offerings.

Google has been the market share leader in the search space for as long as anyone can really remember. But with the surge in smartphone usage, Google is being forced to rethink its business model to align with the attitudes and behaviors of people who use mobile phones.

To add fuel to the fire, Google is now facing increasing risk from strong competitors in the digital space; most importantly, Apple.

In perhaps an attempt to combat this threat, Google launched the Android operating system (OS) a couple of years ago, but has recently updated it to version 2.1 and wrapped it in a compelling smartphone package. Nexus One, launched in January 2010, is Google's first foray into the smartphone market, and according to Wired, it's a pretty strong entry.

In fact, less than one year ago, Gartner made a prediction that the Android OS will overtake Apple in just two years. Gartner is forecasting that the Android will achieve the number two position, along with 14 percent market share, by 2012. As per Ken Dulaney, in an interview with Computerworld: "The Gartner forecast gives Android such an enormous surge in popularity because of a variety of factors, but chiefly because of Google Inc.'s backing of Android and the range of cloud computing functions and related applications that Google will make available in coming years."

This prediction has got to be an ominous one for the folks at Apple. It might have helped spur Apple's entry into more of Google's territory - mobile advertising, that is.

Although mobile advertising still has yet to truly take off, Google has held the lion's share of whatever revenue there is through its mobile AdWords offering. But all of that could potentially be at risk with Apple's introduction of iAd.

Through the acquisition of Quattro Wireless, Apple significantly upped its capabilities in the mobile advertising space, enabling it to launch its own mobile ad platform.

Apple's platform focuses on interactive, dynamic advertising within apps, which contrasts greatly to the mainly text versions that are a mainstay of Google's offerings. In fact, Apple CEO Steve Jobs contends that consumers will not get data from their mobile browser anymore; they are going to use their apps to get on-demand data. Hence, Apple's emphasis on in-app advertising.

In an article by TechCrunch, Leena Rao notes that "Jobs is essentially saying that search is irrelevant on mobile devices, which seems to go against Google strategy with its Android platform."

That said, Apple doesn't appear to be completely walking away from mobile search. There has been speculation that it will replace the search engine on its phones with Bing. In fact, iPhone users may have noticed that the search button in the iPhone browser has already been replaced with "Search" versus "Google."

In the mobile advertising space, Google is fighting back with its (pending FTC approval) purchase of AdMob, a leading mobile advertising network that Apple was actually trying to purchase a while back.

These are just a few examples of the ways that these two digital giants are going head-to-head. A fantastic article by BusinessWeek, "Apple vs. Google" takes a more in-depth look at Apple and Google's rivalry, providing more context and detail around some of these issues.

This column originally ran on April 26, 2010 on ClickZ.

ClickZ Live Toronto On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!

ClickZ Live San Francisco Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!


Julie Batten

Julie is a member of the senior strategy team at Klick Health, focused on online media and digital. Julie initially established and led the media practice at Klick for several years, relinquishing leadership to expand beyond media into additional digital tactics. She brings a wealth of experience in search marketing, digital media, and all facets of digital strategy to bear, helping Klick's clients develop innovative digital solutions. As her role has evolved, so have her contributions to ClickZ, which she has been writing for since 2007.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Search newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!



Featured White Papers

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.

Paid Search in the Mobile Era

Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.




    • GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator
      GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator (British Consulate-General, New York) - New YorkThe GREAT Britain Campaign is seeking an energetic and creative...
    • Paid Search Senior Account Manager
      Paid Search Senior Account Manager (Hanapin Marketing) - BloomingtonHanapin Marketing is hiring a strategic Paid Search Senior Account Manager...
    • Paid Search Account Manager
      Paid Search Account Manager (Hanapin Marketing) - BloomingtonHanapin Marketing is hiring an experienced Paid Search Account Manager to...