By Alexandra Burlacu email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 15, 2013 04:37 PM EST
In today's smartphone market, the choice basically comes down to two major platforms - Android and iOS - and one seems to be invading the other.
Aside from the hardware and platform itself, apps play an essential role in the success of every mobile operating system and handset. While Android and iOS are the dominant platforms fighting for supremacy, consumers can now purchase an iPhone and stack it with loads of Google content.
According to a New York Times report, Google has become one of the biggest and most popular developers of apps for the iPhone. In other words, the relationship between Google and Apple may have deteriorated over the years, but Google is still helping its competitors' products seem more appealing to the masses.
The iPhone featured some of Google's Internet services from the very beginning, but the search giant has expanded its presence over the last eight months. Google has either rolled out major new iPhone apps or tweaked old apps, and it has also increased its efforts in hiring more developers to make such apps for the competition.
A Google Maps app the search giant launched in December, for instance, has been the most downloaded application for the iPhone for the last month or so. Google also released a YouTube app, a version of its Chrome browser specifically designed for the iPhone, as well as better software to help users access Gmail. Google currently has roughly two dozen apps on Apple's App Store, and those apps also have variations for the iPad.
According to analysts and technology executives, Google's strategy makes sense. It's no secret that Apple enjoys a huge market of loyal iPhone users. Google can tap into that huge base for ads and yield heaps of relevant data, which in turn will help it improve its online services. Google draws much of its profits precisely from those online products.
Meanwhile, the whole situation seems like a win-win for both Google and Apple. After all, Apple makes plenty of money selling iPhones, even if consumers use the handsets to gain access to Google services.
On the other hand, as the New York Times' report points out, Google's increasingly growing presence on Apple's devices does pose some risks, particularly in terms of apps that replace basic functions such as Web browsing, maps, and e-mail.
At this pace, Google may very well be taking over the iPhone without users really noticing the onset. Apps and services stand at the core of a device, and Google apparently has that covered.
Apple on the outside, Google underneath?