The latest scuttlebutt from Reuters says Google CEO Larry Page and Apple CEO Tim Cook have been talking. I wonder why?
Maybe it has something to do with Apple v. Samsung, whereby Apple sued the slavish gadget copier into new levels of public denial, caused Samsun’s stock to drop $12-billion, caused a hugely public embarrassment whereby Samsung is labeled forever a copycat accused of using Apple as their own personal research and development group and design shop, caused used Samsung smart phones to be worth not much more than dirt, caused ripples throughout the Android community of smart phone makers, and caused Samsung to run and hug Microsoft, and be first on the block with a Microsoft Windows Phone 8.
So, why are Google’s head honcho and Apple’s top dawg talking? Because Google’s money-losing Android project has been flushed down and stuck between a rock and a hard space, trying to fend off Apple’s attacks to their Android brethren, trying to use Motorola as a shield to prevent further litigation, trying to figure out why Android hasn’t been a money maker, and probably trying to sue for peace.
Steve Jobs just over two years ago gave Google a heads up for what’s coming, and what they need to do to prevent the train wreck that we’re watching unfold now.
I don’t want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won’t want it. I’ve got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that’s all I want.
A mere two years after Steve Jobs uttered the declaration above, Tim Cook gave Google a way out.
I’ve always hated litigation, and I continue to hate it. We just want people to invent their own stuff. And so if we could get to some kind of arrangement where we could be assured that’s the case and a fair settlement on the stuff that’s occurred, I would highly prefer to settle versus battle. But it — the key thing is that it’s very important that Apple not become the developer for the world. We need people to invent their own stuff.
Clearly, Google is on the defensive and the legal stars are lining up like a rifle’s crosshairs toward the search giant’s Android baby (pardon my mixed metaphors; two glasses of wine for dinner will do that). Google knows what’s coming, and Apple has plenty of legal precedent to cause further disruption to what’s left of Android’s tattered business model.
What do you suppose is going on in those conversations between Tim Cook and Larry Page?
Here’s how I see it. Apple doesn’t care about the money. Apple cares about differentiation. Whatever Google does with Android, and whatever Google’s smart phone partners do with their Android wares, Apple simply wants them to build their own stuff and not use Apple as a personal R & D shop.
If talks are successful, we’ll see some high level agreements, some patent licensing, a more reflective and humbled Google, and future Android smart phones and tablets that don’t look so much like future Apple iPhones and iPads