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Here comes Apple’s real thermonuclear war against Google.

Steve Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that he was “willing to go thermonuclear war” over Google's decision to buy Android and compete with Apple in the multi-touch platform space.

But what did he mean by that?

People assume lawsuits. But I think he meant something far more devastating:

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Micah FPV's profile photoDeborah Spruill's profile photo고성민's profile photoJames Pakele's profile photo
Why can't product makers just compete on how good their products are, without the war analogy?
Really? They should just sit back and do whatever Apples wants them to do? "But then Google recklessly chose to attack Apple head-on with Android."
Apple and Android is all stolen.
+Lauren Massa-Lochridge I think it's one too many Sun Tzu business analogies in business class. The American way of business is predatory, see Walmart's relationships with manufacturers.
Was it so hard for SJ to accept that not everyone wants to live in an all-Apple-all-the-time world? Thank God for Google balling up and competing.
So replacing google apps on iphones is the war? Really, who cares what apple users use? This doesn't effect android in the least.
I am sure Apple would of replaced Google with their own stuff anyway. Knowing this is probably why Google developed Android.

Android was a defensive move, not an attack.
"The introduction of iCloud in iOS 5 makes synching with Gmail harder, and replacing Gmail easier." <-- What? This statement makes no sense.

This article seems to suggest that Apple has what it takes to replace Google at what Google does best. It's like suggesting Google would attack Apple by attempting to designing pretty hardware and user interfaces.

My guess would be that, by flipping some imaginary switch and banishing Google products from iOS and Mac OS X, Apple users would somehow end uup paying the price. If that's not the case, why hasn't Apple done it already?
Typical.... +Mike Elgan posts a link and it is immediately flooded and I can't open it.
not everyone wants to live the iLife, or be exclusively Googled up... A fair few enjoy the best of everything, no war needed or even wished for :o)
So, the big idea is that Apple will rule the world by creating a walled garden and kicking Google and everyone else out?

Walled gardens can be very profitable for a while, but they eventually lose.
irish d
is that really a good idea. apple might find out how dependent on google apps majority of its users are, just my guess of course. the iphone forgot its beginning was most helped by having google apps in its lineup.
This won't work. Everyone would have to buy apple products before this has a chance. And as they are way too expensive it won't happen.
This all assumes that any of this will make any difference. Google is everywhere because they get Internet. They get online services. Apple clearly and utterly does not, and I don't believe ever will, any more than Microsoft does or ever will.
Apple will have to go cross platform with many of their services in order to compete with Google. I see no signs of that yet. 
They are going to comit PR suicide. they need to get the publics love back, prove that they can still be the best out there without jobs
Best always this type of techno-commercial war ,that "the Wars". I like me Stars Wars , just the movie, certain !
If apple throws this so-called kill switch on google based search to their own search, it will be a major step back for users. I think you'd see an exodus off iOS if they forced people to give this stuff up. To me this scenario (long shot scenario) might reinforce and build the existing apple community, but seems like it would further the gap for other people. My self included. No way I want to be that locked into Apple I have to get rid of all the great services I'm used to. By the way:

Yelp sucks.
People love Gmail, GMaps.
No way Apple has as much data to compete with Google search head on to form the basis of Siri's understanding.

More like ThermoNuclear Suicide Just my humble opinion.
Apple can't compete with Google cloud. Google cloud is cross platform icould is not. Just because Apple builds a map system does not mean Google can't just put google maps in the app store.
chris lietz
As long as apple insists on making ios only services they will never be pervasive. Message anyone you want - as long as they have an iPhone. What a joke.
That's interesting. I find some of this very attractive, as I'm pulling out of a number of google services to avoid being clobbered by G+ profile requirements which I believe Google plans to migrate out on all its services. In fact the plans Google has for integrating its services together versus this possible Apple plan are both very interesting developments.
Where I agree that Apple will move away from using Google services I truly hope they don't "prevent" it. Apple Macintosh was so proprietary for so many years it kept them out of the business space. Over the years they opened up and became more open to compatibility. Now they are becoming a player again. It would not make sense for them to move backward in the mobile market and keep closing down the system even more.
Considering the fact that iOS has ever dwindling marketshare by the month, this may not work out so well for apple. After all, Samsung alone now sells more android phones worldwide than apple sells iPhones, and that's just one manufacturer.
I've had macs exclusively for my desktops for the last 14 years. Mail? Sucks. itunes? Sucks. iPhoto? Sucks. DotMac? Sucked. MobileMe? Sucked. Aside from the hardware and OSX, I don't think I've got a single positive thing to say about Apple software and services. And I'm not even a hater. You couldn't pay me to use an iPhone because I'd rather lose a limb than ever deal with iTunes again.

ETA: I haven't had the courage to try out the iCloud yet.
This article is nothing more than a poor exercise in hyperbole. This is probably a poor comparison, but Apple turned its back on Adobe Flash (a move that I agree with...HTML5 is better), but yet Adobe and its Flash software still exist. Phasing out Google, in the hopes of destroying the company is an unlikely event.
I think someone's been drinking too much of the Apple kool-aid.
Again, I can't help but disagree with some of your premises.

"First, the use of Siri will become universal among iPhone users"

No single service, app, way of using a phone will become universal among the entire platform. Just as there are Android users that do not use search, there will likely always be iPhone users that have no interest in Siri.

You propose the concept that replacing all of these services with iOS-specific options to be their thermonuclear war. As far as I can tell, this is just more of the same. They have been trying to tell their customers how to use their devices - and to limit them to only those uses - for a long time.

If Apple can provide alternatives to Google's services that are actually capable of competing, then by all means, do so. But their proxy lawsuits have not done anything to slow the tide of Android, nor has Apple's way of business. To me, they are only more likely to piss off some of their own customers that don't like being forced to do things in only one way.

Honestly, if Apple wants to remove Google's excellent services and deny their customers that option, then they are free to shoot themselves in the foot.
Google is too good in its areas of strength.. too good even for Apple, and will get better. Apple knows this and would only take the patent battle route. Everything else mentioned in the article would anyway only be limited to Apple's users', fanboys' use - which unfortunately is a very insignificant percentage. They can't afford to block out Google completely they would be at a huuuuuge disadvantage.
Ha, thermonuclear? Bitter and short-sighted more like.
Shoot yourself in the foot metaphor comes to mind. I don't think consumers like all the drama. Especially doesn't make sense when so many people are just coming out of the "blinking clock on the VCR era" Hopefully the companies are not in the "everybody must be a geek" mindset. Pundits shouldn't make policy.
Sam I Am
It's like owning a restaurant with a sign saying we don't serve your kind here. So I guess I will eat at another restaurant then.
oh this is a nice image to project into my day...'little' mushroom clouds going off... how cute.. even kind of pretty aren't they?
Wow, this looks really really bad.

For Apple users.

Less and less choice for them in the future.
I thought it was well established that Google bought Android well before the first iPhone shipped?

As a google fan, and a Mac user, I'm seeing the tug of war already.
I updated to Mac OS Lion (with iCloud features) and during the install told me I had to chose between syncing contacts to Google or iCloud, but not both.

I chose to use Google of course, but many iPhone/iPad/Mac users probably don't care which email service they chose? Most of the non geeks I know still use their local ISP email, with the bucketloads of spam etc, and look confused when I suggest they should switch to a cloud based mail system..
I don't care how good iOS gets, I'm never strolling through that garden.
The more I read this the more I believe that Nokia/Microsoft will rise from the ashes and emerge as a real 3rd option as google and apple fight between each other.
If that happened, google would be in a critical situation
Yeah, where is good old Microsoft in all this? What happens when the army of 800 pound gorillas (that is Microsoft) wakes up?
Yeah, good luck with that. Has Apple ever had a successful cloud product?
Everyone in the tech media seems to want a war between Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon. Except for Facebook and Google, a massive multi-company war ain't gonna happen other than, perhaps between Google and Facebook.
I love my freedom to Danm much so --------- Apple
I agree that some of these are real possibilities... but I think Google will continue to innovate big time, too. It will be a battle but it should be. That's how market share works -> PCs and Macs, Wendy's and McDonalds, Victoria's Secret and Fredericks of Hollywood, etc... What should stop is the petty infringement war which should only be waged when lines are clearly crossed. The Apple hardware pseudo war is pretty lame. If you're going to complain don't do it behind the barn... do it face to face, so to speak. But hey, that's just how I was brought up. Well written article by the way.
Historically, Apple had always sought to own its entire ecosystem, end to end. So I think Apple would have introduced these services regardless. I believe Google realised this early on, hence its acquisition and introduction of Android. That is why, I believe, Android is so critical to Google and why, as shown by its acquisition of Motorola, Google will go to great lengths to protect Android.
Google vs Apple is boring... patent patent patent blahblahblah... Siri to replace googling? or maybe siri gets some of the answers from Google? hhmmm whatever, boring article that misses the point, that for anything to derail Google, they'd have to not need Google...

"If your not on the Google search, you practically don't exist on the Internet"

i read that in the antitrust thing :)
+danilo pellegrinelli I wouldn't expect Apple to go that far, but who knows, it depends on the new (ish) leadership.
Anything is possible.
It will be a very STUPID move from apple if the company choose to ban google from its platforms. As +Sam Da'Man Castro said, I'll eat at another restaurant then
I think that this scenario is quite probable. After all Apple's motto is "Think different, not necessarily better." :P
If that's SJ's "thermonuclear" attack plan, they sure are taking their sweet time with it.
that's not really thinking different.. its just thinking "SOLO" hahaha
or "how do i exclude everyone from my ecosystem"
The problem for Apple is that a lot of their users have Google accout. Which mean that a large part of their life is running on Google services. Disablenig this services will harm those users dramaticly.
I recently switched to Android from an iPhone. Because of iMessage, most of the SMS/MMS from my friends with iPhones don't get to my Android phone (they appear blue on my friends' devices and go to my old iPhone... which is disconnected). Apple is going to screw themselves by playing this closed-circuit game.
Apple is just a little butthurt because Google did better with their mobile OS, and Google's free cloud based services crapped all over .mac, and still crap all over iCloud.
That could really backfire Apple if their services aren't as good as Google's. I mean c'mon? Would you rather use bing to search google the web? And speaking of SIRI, I bet Google can built a better AI with the data they got, and their voice recognition works on more language than nuance. Andy Rubin just downplaying it
Whichever companies facilitate users' creativity and allow them to use/develop content most efficiently will win. Microsoft lost me because of Word. Microsoft lost me because of Windows. I'm on a Mac BookPro now running Lion, but I also have VM Fusion 4 and would bail on the Mac OS in a heartbeat if I am constrained from doing what I want to do. I'm looking to what's happening in the ebook world for clues. I think what happens over the next year with multiplatform ebook development is going to be very telling.
I wish there was a way I could get +Mike Elgan's content without the posts where you've written something for cult of mac.

It's this stuff that has me circling and uncircling you. Siri will END android. WHY DON'T YOU BELIEVE ME?!? (Oh.) No it won't (Sorry). (We were right?)

Now Siri won't just END android... it will be the thermonuclear response to Google - or... rather it's the tip of the spear. Or... something.

Let's step back, +Mike Elgan and look at how Apple runs their business... they vertically integrate. They do hardware AND software. They virtually OWN their supply chain. They started retail stores. If there's money on the table, they want it. They're a business - and they collect money well.

Whether Google would be replaced or not is not a matter of "if." It's a matter of when. There are ad dollars on the table - they want it. It's the next growth edge for Apple. The next line of business.

And please... can we avoid the war and nuclear Armageddon hyperbole for a few weeks?

But, hey, good job on the headline hook. Got me to read it.

P.S. 100% of the market share that Apple will have in a few years, won't yield the $ to make business sense to take on Google on all fronts.

This isn't fanboi-ism. This is anti-cult annoyance. You don't see the Apple fanboi-ishness in what you are saying? I'm sure cultofmac has a higher bar of cult in order to be published... and I know you need to eat, but really?!

What I'm saying is only partially opinion. Step back. Look. This is objective reasoning wrapped in annoyance.
I fully believe that is Apple's intent... They don't like sharing their sandbox... Won't happen, but can't fault them for trying...

On the flip side Google is accomplishing the opposite, Android phones and tablets, Google TV, Chromebooks...
That is scary because it actually could happen
And what percentage of world's internet population uses Apple's products?
Detaching from Google will only hurt Apple in longer term.
On a slightly different topic, it seems Apple and Microsoft, both, are waging war against professionals, further and further walling off their mainstream devices. People serious about computing will be using Linux or, if there is an impending dramatic improvement, React or Haiku.
I wouldn't say No danger. Google may become alienated from the people who prefer the simple simpleness of iOS, but i dont see that as being a dent in Google. Apple's own policies will benefit Google. Android being Open-source makes it extremely tempting to put it inall sorts of devices- one of them being snowboarding Goggles!

I honestly believe we'll be seeing more of that- Android powered watches, glasses, GPS systems, car stereos, laptops, shall i keep going?

Google needs to invest in:
1. Google+
2. Voice assistant for Android
3. Increased synergy between Android powered devices

Imagine asking your watch to turn your car on, record the TV program youre watching untill 10:00, asking your tv to check your facebook, etc..

I dont see such a thing happening with Apple. Google has Apple around the throat, whether Apple is able to continue to bark or not, it can't bite ;P
Whatever. All it will do is return Apple users to the isolated Mac user status of 10 years ago. Android is growing too fast in total user and market share. Any Apple attempts to destroy Google or Android are irrelevant.
This is great for consumers as it means Google and Apple with both work harder to convince consumers to chose their platform over the other. But I would like more than 2 players competing at the top. I would like to see Microsoft maybe with their next platform working as hard as Apple & Google are to keep on top. I would also like to see new comers and maybe a spin off by HP of WebOS if just to give consumers another option and increase competition amongst the "Not So Crowded" mobile platform market.
Anton K
Siri as a serious threat to google search?? Really?! I stopped reading right there.
On a slightly unrelated note, I'm a bit disappointed that people like +Mike Elgan, who uses Google+ as his exclusive web presence, consistently post into the stream, generating a bucketload of comments like this, but then never seem to come back and engage with the commenters. It's not just Mike, I see lots of "high profile" technology guys using this service to post ideas and articles and then talk alot about the "high level of engagement" on Google+ but then rarely actually engaging back in the conversation themselves.

Really, all this talk about G+ not being a broadcast medium, but rather a place for conversation, is just a shallow lie if the original posters just throw out an idea and then move on. I'm sure Mike has read through the thread of comments, so I find it a little demeaning that he chooses to rarely respond back.

Oh, and to be clear, this is a general criticism that was triggered by Mike's post, but he is certainly not the only person guilty of doing this...
Anton K
+Chris Betcher Amen to that. I am growing more and more cynical towards high profile posts, especially featured in "what's hot" stream, the disengagement of the posters/authors certainly further cheapens the experience. On a positive side, +Mike Elgan post didn't include an animated GIF, so there's hope...
Agreed +Chris Betcher. Especially if the tone of the posts turns critical, he seems to hide more. I think he generally scans the posts to see which way the winds blow. Even so, the talk of engagement rings hollow at times.

I do expect him to have a life off line though, so I don't expect him to live and die by every comment. Somewhere in between would be nice.

In other news, here's an example of a balanced piece of journalism. Might not get the page hits since it isn't sensationalism... but I end up following journalism more than sensationalism.
The problem lies in patent bureaucrats determining what is innovation that should be protected, and what is not. Apple steals almost everything it does (not supposed to be an insult)...They SHOULD copy the best things as it puts better devices in our hands and forces new and better innovation. Patents only slow innovation.
Apple seems a bit hypocritical in this indignation...IMO.
See article here:
I'm generally a fan, but +Mike Elgan , this article makes no sense.
-Replacing Google Search? You say yourself Siri will change engines for you, and I imagine most folks will say "Google 'Washington Monument'" for example.
-Replace Google latitude? Who even uses that? I do, and I don't know why.
-Yelp replaces Places? I don't see a desire for any single site among people I know, everyone wants access to Yelp, Places, FourSquare,etc.
-Replace Maps? Why bother? And how will they "win" this battle when every android phone is a free turn-by-turn device?
-iCloud replaces Google Cloud? This was the 2nd least believable part. What smart company,like Apple, is dying to get into storing everyone's data. Even Microsoft has backed out of this market. Customers expect some of it, but why take on more? Where's the return?
-Replacing Gmail? "iCloud integration on iOS devices will compel many current Gmail users to use Apple services for email."
How, exactly? The most highly anticipated iphone app in the last year, (Siri wasn't hotly anticipated, IMO, but loved now), has been the Gmail app!
And when Apple has done all this crazy stuff you predict...they will still have less than 10% of the non-wireless global market, so "flipping the switch" to cut off Google's oxygen...? Not so much. (1st least believable part)
And I in no way think that would keep Apple from being an amazing, innovative, incredibly profitable company with a stellar future.
I look forward to seeing you on TWiT in the future.
Sorry for the long comment, folks.
Competition is a great thing that's one of the reasons why I like android so much. It could be argued that that IOS is BETTER because of Android. If Apple decides to jump into search an other services good for them! All it will do is make Google better - and ultimately it's us the consumers that will win!
Excluding Google from the iPhone might open Apple up to Microsoft Internet Explorer class antitrust suits.
+Razo Marco "Termonuclear" is Jobs' word. I'm just presenting a theory about what he meant.
Self isolation and lower quality alternatives as thermonuclear weapons? Now that's a surprise move..
Sounds too optimistic to me. Who is Apple going to use to replace Google search? Microsoft? Aren't they rivals, too? And iCloud replacing Google's cloud? Really? Sorry, Mike, but this makes no sense to me. Right now, you can use Google's cloud services with practically any device and any platform. To use iCloud, you can only use Apple products. You seem to forget that Apple is a leader in only one market: tablets. They don't have the market in smartphones, and they certainly don't have the market in desktops and laptops. How on earth can iCloud take over Google cloud services if it only works with outnumbered Apple devices?
dorio x
Its a suicide for Apple to go to war. Small percentage of people in the world just own Apple products.
+John Taylor Apple doesn't care about other devices. It wants "stickiness" with other Apple devices, so you buy more Apple products for them to all work together. I think it is less about replacing Google across the internet as slowly weening Apple users off of Google. If Apple successfully stopped its users from searching through Google, that would be a major blow to its advertising dollars.
+Mike Elgan, you've always seemed like a relatively reasonable guy, but this line:
But then Google recklessly chose to attack Apple head-on with Android.
is an embarrassing example of fanboy-ism.
Developing a competing product is not an attack. Launching a bunch of proxy-lawsuits in an attempt to take choice away from consumers is an attack.
I don't see it as a problem, it is just normal capitalistic competition. Google makes a product, then Apple makes a better one, then Google makes a better product and so on. We all win. I won't switch to Apple simply because they have a better piece of software this week and I'm sure an Apple fan won't switch to a Google tool for the same reason.
In any case, I have a rule, I don't talk to robots, if one calls me on the phone, I hang up, if I have to go through a robot menu on the phone, I just press "0" till a human answers and I certainly don't ask a robot where to find a pizza.
Maybe this would have been an effective strategy at one point but I suspect Android's momentum has already dulled this Apple attack. Once you get a taste of the freedom of Android you are not likely to return to a closed ecosystem. This, to me, illustrates Steve Job's megalomaniac arrogance. Coke lives with Pepsi. Walmart, Target. McDonalds, Burger King. Chevy, Ford. Why is there a desire to destroy Android? I respected Jobs, I never revered him.
There is a big problem with this scenario: Youtube. There is no way to replace it on any iOS device. And people aren't going to all start using Vimeo suddenly.
+Don Wood Apple is obviously replacing Maps- they have bought several companies in that vein- and even Google internal memos show that they are worrying about the lost of iOS data. The reason is that Google has lavished all the love on its Android app, and Apple knows they will not improve the map on their own iOS device.
+danilo pellegrinelli Well, Gmail is TECHNICALLY replaceable (though I doubt how many users would actually make the switch- you are going to pry my Gmail account from my cold, dead body). But Apple Mail does offer a similar alternative, with some benefits for iOS users. Youtube, though, is really irreplaceable.
+Josef Ferguson I think Mike was just trying to keep the war metaphor going. And rightly or wrongly, Google did decide to compete with Apple, so they did fire the first shot.
This theory holds no water. It would backfire. This would mean that Apple would become even a more walled-in garden, having its own private (little) internet. Didn't work for AOL, won't work for Apple.
And by the way everyone, if your kids live under your roof but are old enough to go out on their own, you will use Latitude and love it.
+Mike Elgan has jumped the shark.Your Apple fanboism is getting really tiring. Be a damn journalist for once and do some real research.

For instance, how about researching some real use cases for Siri .. not the silly unfinished use cases that Apple has marketed to impress the very gullible, but some real end-to-end use cases.

make a doctor or dentist appointment using Siri (have Siri call the doctor's office, compare calendars and book a convenient time for your appointment, and not just put some silly unconnected reminder notification in your local calendar of a meeting that you had to book in the traditional manner, ie: open your calendar, call the office, talk to the secretary, compare calendars and find some convenient timeslot. )

While your jogging, tell Siri to book a meeting with someone, and then show up at your meeting room (assuming Siri can reserve a meeting room) and see if the other person shows up.

Being able to ask about tomorrows weather in 6 different phrasings rather than just 2 is not really all that impressive.
I think +Mike Elgan makes a lot of sense here. It's certainly not the worst theory I have heard. Won't work on me though, my last Apple device was sold for scraps 3 weeks ago ;)
+Nicholas Boterf It's not the analogy I take issue with, it's the revealing choice of language. Launching a competing product (which was, by the way, very likely in development before the first iPhone was released) is a "reckless attack"? I don't see how.
+Anton Spaans Exactly! A Chinese wall between Apple products/services and Google products/services would hurt Apple users more than it would hurt Google users.
How come conversations about Mac and PC never mention how Google's made Microsoft entirely obsolete. Oh and Isaacson's always been a self-professed tool. Why do I need him to report on what Jobs said. If he know it earier why didn't he bring it up before now. Most of his books read like a schizophrenic ghost writer's research assistant high on toner fumes anyway.

Sure he has the balls to make grand statements about grand people but it seems as if he's convinced himself that that makes him as profound as they are.

It's kinda sad really.
Besides for all practical purposes Google is still as much an advertising platform as they are a software engineering company. Google and Apple aren't really in the same business. Like airlines and car manufacturers aren't in the same business. Sure they're vehicularly adjacent but still not competing products. I'm just happy Google took all the discontinuity out of software design for all the othe mobile handsets. That was a battle of method and means that none of the conventional mobile hardware companies were going to win. Google did all of those guys a huge favor.
that would suck.. i like google+ and im on a mac
OK. Its a classic case of the cult of Mac..It just confirms that Apple is playing a catch-up.
Crazy- this means if I want to share things with apple user then I can't, I have to buy an apple product myself. The whole idea of cloud products is the fact I can use them anywhere in the world from any device.

If apple kick Google out then it just means their devices are no longer compatible with these universal app's and therefore cut off from the rest of the world.

ha ha goodbye apple, they are so obsessed with closing everything off that one day they will realise they have closed the whole world out of buying their products
Scary stuff, if you're Goggle. I can see this happening. I am using an iPad, love it and can see switching my phone and PC.
Scary stuff, if you're Goggle. I can see this happening. I am using an iPad, love it and can see switching my phone and PC.
but if they kill all Google services from your phone and I-pad surely it becomes less useful?? For one thing it would be harder to use G+
boo Jay
Good job, Jobs, make Apple products even more useless than they already are. That'll teach Google!
I didnt have the time to read all the comments ( unlike the other post regarding why android users think people buy iPhones ) But the article here is just pathetic, perhaps those things are apple's ambitions and goals but obviously yhe author has never used a google cloud service here is a good example:

Siri - everytime I try to use this for searching or finding info I get the "Im sorry but I am having trouble connecting to the network" rhetoric.

Google voice controls on an Android device - not ONCE has it ever erred due to lack of network, granted it may not have such a deep range of vocal understanding and it may act a bit wonky because of it, but at least I always know it will work.

Hopefully +Mike Elgan wasnt the one responsible for said article....
fail imagine if they decided to use their own search engine, wonder how controlled the search results if that were implemented.

"Siri whats the best android phone"
"no andoid phone is good"
apple taking down google? who could be so naive? i mean come on apple is useless.
I guess you could call replacing platforms war but I've yet to ever see a piece of software from Apple that I liked or found better functioning than a competitor. Prettier? Sure. Glossy-filter-ier? Sure.

The best part about my Google services is that, when I choose not to use them, I can load a (GASP) website that has flash on it on my tablet or phone.
forget iPhone and all such iCrap.. go Google..
+Josef Ferguson I agree "reckless" is over-the-top (and I hope a bit tongue-in-cheek). But it is true that Google decided to become competitors. True, Android project was started before the Iphone was released, but all they had in hand was a dumb phone when the Iphone was released. The Iphone changed the game, and they had to start working on a touchscreen smartphone after that.

Plus remember that Eric Schmidt was on the board at the time. I think alot of the bad blood between Steve Jobs. Google was their shady behavior in the Android project. It sounds like they pretended they were working on a dumb phone when they were really working on Android as we know it. Good business, not so good for feelings between the two companies.
Pretty sure this post is just +Mike Elgan doing his job in getting traffic to the site. Pretty sure Jobs would have had a better plan for going "thermonuclear," though. This isn't even going postal. I'd classify it as maybe a temper tantrum.
Also, just bcuz jobs freaked and said he was going to wage 'thermo nuclear war ' against android doesn't mean the new regime will be that wild eyed and short sighted. The dude is dead after all. 
I ll ditch my iphone if theres no google, i've depended on google too much, hahaha
Very militarized kind of speaking.
What if these nukes are not exploding in the target but in the place of launch(apple)?
Did a 5 year old write this article? Screams bombast without much substance. So what if Apple drops Google across a range of those services on iOS devices? The dent in Google's global market share will be minor. Furthermore, this nuclear attack is going to be a long time coming, as Apple's alternatives are no where near the level of feature-completeness and quality as their Google counterparts - especially 'Apple Maps'. That investment alone isn't trivial.
I disagree with this article as much as it seems most in the thread do, but +Mike Elgan I respect your opinion man. Keep up the conversation starters. This kind of debate is what I love about plus ... And could you ever find such a great thread on fb? Or any apple service for that matter? :)
+Mike Elgan Google now has to do 2 things:

Offer services that make them better to use than Apple's default. The Hardcore Pro Apple will use the defaults but there should be a portion that prefers to switch.
This will need a coordination and consolidation of features. Google has a much higher range of communication tools but fragmentation so bringing G+ Messenger / Hangout, GMail/Talk/Voice and the Android Phone and Messages. Bringing them all together down to about 3 would greatly help Google. Furthermore giving oIP capabilities to all three would turn them into a major factor as people try to save money and WiFi becomes more and more ubiquitous.

Hardware This is the big one. Google is going in the right direction with ICS having native screen size flexibility and working on design as features/specs are pretty much covered.
So now they have to make 2 moves require unlocked loaders and stock Android At Least as an option.
Then the complete removal of bloatware from carriers. Then the iOP possibilities of all services.
Their rolling out Fiber so using that to leverage for Android usage should come into play.
Hopefully the government doesn't get involved since Google will be stepping on Everyone's toes Manufacturers, Carriers, ISPs and Cable companies.
Heck even banks could be getting shaken up if Google makes moves on Wallet similar to the ones on phones.
So here's to hoping that in the future a Google account is all I need for everything.
I've noticed a pattern of concern trolling on G+, in which insert internet personality's name here deliberately creates or promotes an artificial controversy purely in order to drive traffic to an external website or blog. The post that inspired this conversation is an example of that phenomenon. This week it's "Apple to Evict Google from Walled Garden! OhNoez!!!", last week it was "Android is dying of fragmentation, an amateur analyst popped into G+ from literally nowhere to say so, and offers this not-at-all flawed chart to prove it! OhNoez!!!".

A big honking clue that a controversial post is actually blogspam is whether and to what degree the poster engages with the audience they tricked into fluffing somebody's traffic stats.
I'm an enthusiastic iphone user, with Windows doing all the grunt work and the G cloud providing many online services for me and my family. I would happily drop IOS if Apple tries this trick. Apple's position in phones just isn't dominant enough for this strategy to work. I'd like to see +Mike Elgan follow up this post with a more nuanced review on whether such a strategy has any hope of succeeding. Seems 90% of the commenters here think not.
The name of the web site tells me all I need to know. Mac lovers will never understand that the other 90% of the world doesn't use Apple products, and it is for a very good reason. They don't want their hands tied to Apple's outrageous pricing strategies and limited vision. Apple charges for everything available on their platforms, whether or not they developed it. This is effectively a 10-35% tax on everything in the Apple Universe.

Additionally, Corporate IT wants to be able to get into the guts of the system and customize it, that is another thing that Apple doesn't allow.

For the foreseeable future, Apple is going to remain the 10% Solution
This strategy, tempting as it is for Apple, could be their biggest threat, rather than an opportunity. It certainly didn't work for Microsoft's mobile business. Look what happened when they relied on leveraging their existing powerbase (desktop windows) into mobile. Similarly, Apple should be careful trying to merely muscle their way into social & cloud services. May the best product win!
Many of those possibilities disgust me and if apple implements any of them in such a way that I see or feel will make my next phone an android with no guilt. Go ahead apple, help me make a decision.
+Stephan van der Zalm Not really. As I specified, the Apple-buying universe is the high-end, premium customer end of the market. Remember, Apple earns half the worlds cell phone profits on 4% of the market. That means their minority is the lucrative one.
+Gord Wait Yes, Google bought Android before Apple shipped iPhone. But Google buys a lot of companies without fully launching their product. Sometimes they just buy for the team. Sometimes they strip the technology for parts.
I think that there came a point before Google got into the business of pushing Android as a viable open OS when Google realised 1: that Steve Jobs was making a walled garden and 2: that he could eliminate Google services at any time.

We already know Steve Jobs' effect on the world of Adobe Flash. He didn't like Flash so nobody in the iOS ecosystem can use it. What would have stopped him from doing the same to Google services.

They really didn't have much alternative than to go ahead and create an open-source alternative. Steve Jobs may have been angry and felt betrayed, but Google understand the transition towards internet-connected everythings (as opposed to just PCs) and the future relies on Google being available on every platform.

Luckily for Google, the vast majority of people don't live in Apple-exclusive worlds, and even those that do still have full access to Google services in their Mac browsers. Even if Apple stop allowing Google apps on the Appstore, which would be quite a dangerous move, Google can just go the web app route to bypass them.

Unfortunately for Apple, the tide of development is heading towards standards like HTML 5, towards cross-platform parity, where services follow me anywhere. Even if Apple change all their baked-in software to non-Google products, that will do little to change the fact that users will demand access to the services that they used elsewhere.
Really, really, really, really like the idea of Apple placing Siri on ALL of it's platforms! Wow! That would be awesome. This was one fun post to read - It'll be interesting to sit back and check off each item. Apple's more than capable. The biggest battle will be marketing it all and making sure everyone jumps when their ideas roll out.
By reckless, I mean that I believe Google was completely surprised by Apple's and Steve Jobs' reaction.
+Samuel Riksfjord There's no way you could have a conversation like this on Facebook. Google+ rocks for this kind of thing.
+David Furphy Oh, there's no question that it won't "work." And there's also no evidence that this will be Apple's permanent policy. But this appears to be the policy that Jobs had set in motion.
+Mike Elgan - I'm not scientist, so I can't confirm the analogy of thermonuclear - but this hardly sounds like it will make a huge dent in Google at all. As long as there are still technology manufacturers outside of Apple, Google will still exist.
Well, hopefully, Friday's patent verdict in Germany will have more serious consequences for Apple so that the stupid patent wars will stop.
Let Android live Apple, my hell you've stolen nearly everything you've created. You've just put it in better packaging...
Makes sense, if you email a pic it sends it from a .me icloud address by default, I had to switch it to send from gmail. 
This article doesn't really make any sense, +Mike Elgan. If Jobs' suing is meant to stop manufacturers from using Android, what will those manufacturer do then? Stop making phones? Because it sure as hell won't be able to license iOS. Speaking of the biography, Steve Jobs rarely (RARELY) made exceptions to disrupt his end-to-end user experience. Apple WILL NOT allow licensing of iOS especially with the patents and technology manufacturers like Samsung has. That's a "kiss of death" as the biography often put it.

In short, no matter how much Apple threatens to sue or stick their hands in other manufacturers pockets, those companies have no choice but to stick to Android (Windows isn't up to par) in order to compete with iOS.

I believe that when Steve Jobs said he was willing to go thermonuclear on this, he meant that he was willing to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to destroy Android. There's no sense in trying to find other hidden meanings from that.

And if Apple wants to cut all Google services from iOS, that's just another "kiss of death". How close is Apple from having a search engine, a YouTube, a social network of their own, etc.? They would spread themselves so thin just to go "thermonuclear" on Google? I don't think so.

As long as Apple makes devices that goes anywhere near the internet, it will need Google unless they themselves invent or purchase something that can replace Google. Highly unlikely (read: nil).
I am just not sure Apple's market share is large enough to go fissile.
Ppl like me don't use Siri, icloud and yelp but still love iPhone and google services....
So +Mike Elgan can I summarise your view?
- this was Steve's strategy,
- it is currently being implemented,
- it won't work,
- it will be dropped before it backfires seriously
Interesting. I've been an Apple user since 1980; I have a Mac Powerbook 17" and plan to replace it with a Macbook Air, but I am not interested in the iPhone, due to the weird control exercised over the platform by the vendor.
It makes no sense for either company to get into this fight, it is fruitless and will only hurt the bottom line, and users, which are symbiotic to that bottom line.
In the future, when all sides are weary of this nonsense war, the need for 'collaboration' will make them sleep together again.. :-)
XD lol...Google would probably win over Apple
Uh... I don't know about all this. The biggest fallacy I see in all this is Latitude being so high on this list. Seriously, who uses Latitude? Nobody.

I don't think anyone inside Apple thinks iMessage will replace GMail. Email is not the same as messaging -- people know that.
I wonder what Google strategy is...

The only threat is Siri and what it can lead too...
Evan F
so Apple is going to compete instead of "innovating"? what an interesting idea, if only they had tried that first maybe they wouldn't have this problem.
Only if Apple could acquire Facebook, then they can start to dream about that, before that, no.......
Until they stop with the "one size fits all", Apple cannot win a "war" with Google.
It will only reiterate the point of iOS being a closed system. I wouldn't buy an apple device just for this reason
Well nobody can really say what the future holds. The truth is that in 10 yrs who knows who will be leading the pack. Still this article makes many assumptions which are biased towards an elitist "Apple" system, which draws in a bunch of automatons. Yes ads target these automatons because if you fall for buying a phone every 6 months because they add an "S" to it. Then you probably will fall for any money making gimmick that consumerist companies throw at you.
The article is not too well thought out. Unless Apple changes and tries to cater to the larger market by offering lower cost products, Apple services and search would be use 7% of the world on Mac's and iPads and the 5% or the world on iPhones.

If voice search replaces browser search, than it will be the end of web content in general. Instead of seeing links to dozens or hundred of sites, you will get a single unified canned answer. With no adds, since presumably there will be no adds on voice, there will be no incentive to create content.

Basically, the end of the internet, within the walled garden. Outside the walled garden, it will be business as usual.
Good article. And I already see Google taking more of a backseat in my iPhone use. Maps and Reader are the only 2 things I care about from Google. I want G+ to be my new Facebook, but the family just won't migrate...
Anton K
+Mike Elgan Firstly, Eric Schmidt never said that Siri is a threat to google search, he said it was a "challenge", which is just stating the obvious. Secondly, it's one thing to have to prove that the internet search business is competitive to a Senate antitrust committee (would you really expect a CEO to say something else??) and a completely other thing to wildly speculate in an analytical essay.
The thing about thermonuclear war? Nobody really wins.
You don't think users will be pissed off when Apple 'censors' particular services on their devices?

Hipsters love Apple, but Hipsters HATE 'The Man'. They won't have this.
+Zachery Tapp Google services are free for users, Google having been able to maintain the delicate balance of making revenue from adds and giving enough free services to keep people using the web. Facebook has been able to do the same thing. Android was created to bring internet access to more poeple. It is being used on sub-US$100 (contract free) devices. Chrome OS is designed to move your offline work online. Google is in the search business, and to make it grow, needs to get more people online. The more people are online, the more viable it is to provide quality content.

I think all this is still a pretty delicate balance though.

More than a decade ago, there were proposals to give free internet to users in exchange for a small windows displaying adds. Than the bubble burst. The internet was not as great a marketing tool as many had made out to believe.

If Apple or anybody really intends to change the search, content and advertising paradigm they better make sure that they develop a sustainable ecosystem, or we might find in a few years, the internet becoming one big pay wall.

Apple's opposition to Flash is an a move toward this pay wall. Without Flash, browser based content is limited. Instead what is offered is paid apps. HTML5 still cannot replace flash in all applications and a transition to HTML5 would take a few years. It really has nothing to do with instability. I use Flash on Safari on a MacBook Air, and have no stability problems.

Like +Geordie Birch I use Apple's Mac OSX too. I really do not see myself using iOS since I think it would be financial suicide in the long run to go behind a walled garden. Ultimately, if enough people are behind a walled garden they would simply charged there corralled audience more and more.
Do I really see the iPhone and Android camps on the same side here disagreeing with +Mike Elgan? Mike, you're the man. LOL
+Nicholas Boterf " It sounds like they pretended they were working on a dumb phone when they were really working on Android as we know it."
I assume you have some resources to cite for this assertion? Because everything that I've read about the history of Android (from back before it was purchased by Google in '05) was that it was designed to be operated with a touchscreen from pretty much the beginning.
Amen +Justin Virly Apple walled garden makes them a niche product compared to Google's platform agnostic open access.

If anything, Apples success is merely the exception that proves the rule as we move forward into the wikinomic era.
Will Apple really let their egos get the best of them and cut off their faces to spite their noses?
Clearly correct. But will Apple be forced to give users options of choice because of the outcomes of the Microsoft lawsuits? Will Apple be able to provide the same quality when for them it's a side initiative and for Google it's core?
Everybody should be required to read this before they open their mouths about Android here. : Android homepage: About the Apache Licence that allows "anybody" to develop Android software: and Google Code: and then tell me what Apple and their fanboys could do to stop Android on the market. The Android Partnership are almost everybody else that are acting on the market for mobiles except maybe Microsoft. Apple could play market "Whack-a-Mole" forever and keep on pissing off people until everybody except maybe the iFans hate them. And don't you forget that Microsoft still wants a bigger part of the mobile market for operative systems. If Google with the Android allies and Microsoft should act together against Apple......
Apple would need an intervention from "Above" to win against Google. iEverything ain't gonna happen...
That is the reason Google developed Android. To protect itself for this kind of moves. As long as Andoid is everywhere, google cares less and less about iOS.
So Apple will start to promote its own emergent services over the current Google ones. News at 11...
Hardly cutting edge technology journalism Mike...
Alex T
The article is fanboish but is onto something. However, Apple can't win this war with the business model it has. You can't make a universally popular apps if you don't license them to other platforms. Who would like to use a messenger which is platform-restricted, so you wouldn't be able to connect with friends using other phones? It would be a suicide and I hope Apple will commit it. Google is free and cross-platform, and American too. Apple will cut its teeth there.
Aren't we overreacting to that melodramatic one-liner about a nuclear war? Any "war" action that affects mainly the Apple culture does have some effects beyond the Apple world but it is closer to a hefty bite than to eradicating anything. Certainly, if you think of the world as a Mega-Apple with a tiny non-Apple appendix things would be different.

Steve, I am thankful that you did greater things than utter that one sentence according to your biographer.
Interesting how threatened Apple feels when people infringe upon "their" turf but when they do it, it is fine. Imagine how far Apple would have gotten if Windows were a closed system and everyone would have had to buy a Mac before they could use an iPod, iPad or other "i" device. Yes, there are those who would have, but many would have just "settled" for one of the other devices out there.
+Mike Elgan Yes, that's exactly the point. Apple is premium so implicitely the number of apple devices is a low percentage of the total market. People can buy equal devices for less money and the majority of people won't buy premium, but go for the cheap option. That'll be Android for now and perhaps MS phone in the future. So unless apple open up their services to the general public they won't gain control over the market but will be restricted to a corner of it. Yes they'll might make a lot of revenue with it, but nothing more than that.
I want to see siri, findmyfriends, yelp, apple maps, icloud, imessage to come big ... its healthy for market
This would totally make sense if the majority of the world uses the iPhone and Mac products. However currently macs are between 5-10% of the PC market and the iPhone is 27% of the smartphone market. The only place they have dominance in is the tablet market which is still small and will only really grow when cheaper tablets start coming out and those will not be run by iOS.

I love the competition and I think they will both thrive in this market but Siri is not the death of Google
no war here in India apple lost the war here like 3 years back i know like 4 ppl with apple products in my entire friend circle 90% of the ppl here use a android or a bb and some how the world still goes on .as far as siri goes omg you could never use it in india to much noise lol
Most people are using multiple platforms on a daily basis. I use Windows on the desktop at work and at home. Android on my phone, and Linux on the family PC. I can't and won't use a cloud service that only works on ONE platform. Notice that Apple wasn't listed in my list of platforms that I use? There's a reason for that.
FYI: Apple did not buy any company that can provide a fraction of the map data and services that Google/Microsoft/Nokia can provide. Not a cheap business to get in. They need to make a huge acquisition in maps or will stay behind.
Ridiculous. Even if Apple does replace all of those Google functions with their own, iPhone's share of the market is shrinking.
I have never owned/purchased an apple product, but I still love going to the store. Honestly, why do they charge so much?
thank you for this share +Mike Elgan ... i am in the market for a new phone and was undecided as to where to go ... this article helped me make up my mind ...

i tended towards an android phone (in particular the new galaxy nexus), but it'll still be some time until that arrives here in spain so i was playing with the thought of getting an iphone 4s ... your article has certainly achieved one thing ... for me it is now out of the question to purchase an iphone (or any other apple product for that matter) ... a company that can only conduct business by waging war is nothing i'd like to be associated with ... i prefer google's do no evil policy ... i'll wait for the nexus ...

after reading excerpts of steve jobs' book and more and more articles that read along the same lines as yours, it has become increasingly clear to me that jobs committed suicide (albeit unwittingly) ... cancer starts in your mind and this man was eaten up by negative emotions like envy and jealousy ... i'm certain that his own subconscious translated those negative vibes into cancer in the end ... you can't expect anything healthy to come out of sick thinking ... it is just a shame that he has not only poisoned his own mind and body but also those of the managing members of his company ... for the management of apple to carry on with jobs' sick plan of nuclear war is very sad indeed ... one would think that highly paid executive staff are intelligent enough to see that a scorched earth policy won't leave any winners, only losers and man enough to make up their own minds accordingly instead of blindly following the lead of a poor grudger who couldn't live with fact that others can be successful too ...

i hope that google won't buckle under pressure and turn towards the same nuclear war policy ... i believe that in the long run their do no evil policy will prevail ... i think that more and more people will catch on to apple's sick behavior and the companies attitude will cost them dearly ... eliminating all google products can go two ways ... the way described in your article or the opposite direction ... it could also be that people will turn their backs on apple because they don't want to be patronised by an envious, power hungry company and be told what services they can use ... this attitude might actually drive apple clients towards google ...

anyway ... for me the decision is clear ... android it is! ...
Scary stuff, if you're Goggle. I can see this happening. I am using an iPad, love it and can see switching my phone and PC.
This "termonuclear war" has significance only if Apple can control a major user base. iDevice users are still only a minor part of internet users and Google still "owns" the majority. Obviously Google is already developing an app similar to Siri, so eventually nobody will miss anything. The "switch" will be a dud, not a "nuclear bomb."
I know many folks that have left apple products because of Google's integration together with Android.. I know more folks that use Google on their iOS devices that will leave Apple if this happens..
If people are genuinely stupid enough to believe that one company, offering one solution and one product, is a good thing, in any way shape or form, then they deserve Apple. Apple have spent years marketing second-hand ideas and technology as their own and getting away with it. Genuine innovators rarely get the credit once Apple have spun it (Look at Last FMs Scrobbling, which was marketed as an Apple invention that would 'revolutionise the way we listen to and discover music' and re-branded as 'Ping'). This post is just re-affirming that Apple look at the good things other companies are doing (In this case, Google Maps etc), then re-brand and re-market it. People will buy Android phones just because they're not Apple and that comes with a freedom simply not available to Apple users.
I switched to Android from my iPhone 3GS but since the release of iOS 5 have switched back (iPhone 4S). Usability, Stability, App Selection and Battery Life are a small percentage of the reasons I will probably stay with apple phones from now on.
how is your phone doing now, micah? its three days later XD
Maybe they just want great show like WWE match.
Peoples are foolish like that, who want simply exciting.
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