The battle between Apple and Google is more than just a contest for who leads in the mobile platform space–it’s an appeal to the masses and their morals. In the ongoing saga regarding Apple’s stance on adult iPhone and iPad apps, Jobs tells customers to go ahead and get an Android. The Jobs jabs at Google’s mobile platform not only indicates that Apple has taken the moral high ground, but that Android is for the heathens that aren’t worthy of an Apple mobile device.
Good play, or bad? Just looking at the Internet at large, it would seem to be that the adult industry is relatively easy to access. Of course, Apple doesn’t have to create an adult category for its mobile apps–that’s its right. But when those morals come into question regarding banned apps with no seeming just cause, the moral police at Apple have a few more decisions to answer for.
Apple has been relatively strict over the accessibility and distribution of content available through its platform, and this goes for content sold through iTunes even before the App Store was opened to third party developers. The pricing and availability of songs, movies and books have been regulated, per Apple’s relationships with content publishers, owners and producers. This has a nice revenue model for Apple, but it also grants a large opportunity for Google to appeal to a large base of developers and consumers.
Sometimes the control Apple retains over these monetary relationships is strong enough to deter competing moves from other businesses, as we saw with Amazon’s Kindle and the pricing model behind its e-book sales. It’s a control that Apple holds dear, and Google is hoping to exploit. Who turns out the winner? It may be more for us to consider more than just the platforms, or the devices, or the companies, or even porn.
The overlap of all these factors means that Jobs could end up making his products and platforms look bad, driving even more support to Android. Though security is still a major source of strife for the Android platform and its apps, ongoing work on the platform, frequent updates, and partnerships with more and more device manufacturers also makes this battle one of numbers and accessibility.
Of course, the battle will live on for quite some time, particularly as Apple and Android continue to represent different aspects and attitudes towards the way in which a mobile platform should be developed. What will make the battle even more relevant towards consumer electronics and mobile devices is the growing presence of additional products and platforms. The resources that mobile platforms make available to developers and the platform owners looks to monetize consumers in an entirely different manner, attracting the likes of HTC, Sony and several others, towards owning as big of a piece of the pie as possible.