Fauxficially: A slow start to Google’s war against Apple

The Pixel might attract a few iPhone users, but this war is more like a skirmish.


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Google versus Apple may make for great headlines but that doesn’t make it a real thing. That won’t stop our gallant corps of pundits from trying, though!

Writing for Thrillist, Joe McGauley unhinges his jaw to swallow Google’s marketing whole.

“Apple and Google are officially at war.”

They weren’t at war when Apple started using its own map data. They weren’t at war when Google bought Motorola or sold Nexus phones. They weren’t at war when Steve Jobs declared “thermonuclear war” on Android. No, they’re only now just at war. Officially. Because here comes another phone.

In case you missed it, Google just unveiled a bounty of new products…

A veritable cornucopia. A surfeit. Mostly stuff Apple’s been making for years, but…

Google’s announcement—a bare-bones presentation with a few simple slides—was in stark contrast to the grand theatrics Apple puts on during its semi-annual keynotes. It was as if Google was trying to beat Apple at its own game…

Big announcements that are packed with journalists are so lame. Tiny events and vastly fewer unit sales are where it’s at.

Google’s taking advantage of the palpable Apple fatigue

People have been predicting “Apple fatigue” since at least 2008 but it’s surely hitting now rather than it being the fact that the smartphone market has matured.

…amidst all the public outcry about Apple removing the headphone jack, reviews for the newly released iPhone 7 have been mixed at best.

8.7 from CNet, a 9 from the headphone-jack-lovin’ Nilay Patel at The Verge, “a damn good phone” from Gizmodo, 4 out of 5 stars from Time, “a major upgrade” from The New York Times, “worth the upgrade” from The Wall Street Journal, “the best models Apple has ever produced” from Consumer Reports… Does the Macalope need to go on? Because he could. But his hooves cramp up after a while pasting in so many links. Seems like “at best” the reviews have been tremendous. Maybe Phandroid.com panned it. The Macalope didn’t check there.

Everyone loves the Pixel, though. That much is certain.

Google has clearly been paying close attention to the moans and groans of Apple’s disillusioned customers.

Again, if you buy Google’s marketing about Apple customers being the target of the Pixel, you haven’t been paying attention. Sure, there will probably be a few who might switch, but it’s a little more likely that Google will mostly benefit at the expense of the company with the exploding phones. What was their name again? It’s hard to tell because they’re only mentioned once in McGauley’s article.

You’ll notice the Pixel looks a lot more like an iPhone than any Samsung or Nexus you’ve ever seen…

People are tired of Apple products! But you know what’s awesome? This phone that looks just like an Apple product.

Now, Google’s effort to put out better-looking hardware…

Keep trying!

…that could easily be mistaken for the competition’s suggests it’s using Apple’s signature strongpoint to poach customers.

Shorter logic of this article: Skate to where people have hockey fatigue.

…Apple’s secretive company culture and stubborn refusal to acknowledge its shortcomings has made it apathetic to user feedback.

The idea that Apple never listens to customers is a popular bit of conventional wisdom that’s not really true. But even if it was, it’s apparently worked well enough to make Apple the largest and most successful tech company ever. What’s hurting it now is mostly market dynamics and an inability to bring the next big thing to market. Guess what, it’s not smartphones and it’s particularly not smartphones that try to look like Apple’s but aren’t from Apple.

Apple does make products for mature markets, but that’s not what people think of when they think of Apple-like announcements. They think of introductions like the Mac in 1984, the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010 that redefined markets for years to come. The only product Google announced at its Pixel event that wasn’t for an already mature market was a VR headset that nobody’s talking about. Until Google reshapes a consumer product category, any pronouncement that they’re “the new Apple” or are “beating Apple at its own game” is missing the point.

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