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I just posted this on Facebook, link later (I did that because the two people I mention here are on Facebook, not yet on Google+).

Gotta say, Google really is coming on strong.

Did you see all the news on ? The new phones and new Android OS are finally making me reconsider my Apple fanboyishness. Will Tim Cook answer with a sweeping new strategy?

He could.

Some things Apple/Tim Cook could put in play?

1. Make a sweeping deal with Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. One where social gets built into Siri, for instance, and into anything TV related they come out with.

2. Make some bold moves into TV content. That requires spending some of that cash. Maybe even pissing off some investors. Does Tim have the backbone to do that? I don't know. Neither does anyone else. Which tells me there's a LOT of opportunity here to really be disruptive.

3. I doubt they will mess with iPad before Christmas, but I bet after Christmas we'll see a new double-resolution iPad and we'll see a drastic price cut on iPad 2 models in order to stay competitive with Amazon's Kindle Fire.

4. Release, right before Christmas, a sweeping new TV app that includes a ton of content that folks like Boxee haven't been able to deliver (sports, news, and first-rate TV shows like American Idol, CSI, Criminal Minds, etc).

5. Showcase the third-party developers who have bet so strongly on iOS. Flipboard, ShowYou, Band of the Day, and on and on. +Jason Calacanis is hosting an iPad event on Friday in Mountain View. Apple should host an Apple event of its own where the public can get a good look at dozens of the top apps available on its platform.

What do you think?

What could Tim Cook do to keep Google from taking over everything?
Robert Scoble wrote: I gotta say, Google really is coming on... Join Facebook to connect with Robert Scoble and others you may know.
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There's no way the Zuck would cede control like that. I'm sure he believes that Facebook will somehow supercede silly things like platforms.
Netflix is waaaaay further ahead in online visual media.
AppleTV isn't as big a deal for the company as other things.
Is there any way Apple could come out with their own Social Network to compete with Google and Facebook?
And thats the day I leave facebook for good if Apple buys it. I doubt Zuck will ever sell his baby - not even to Apple.
Apple needs to finally stop being so proprietary and keep the brand golden. Google's brand is going to win. It's a brand war. Apple's relatively cheap electronics and huge profits exploit Asian workers, don't they?

Apple needs to embrace a sense of openness. Without Steve, they're in danger of turning to the dark side in the eyes of the consumer. I've been a die hard loyal Apple fan for 19 years and they're losing me.

If Apple were to take the iOS platform to the same level of openness as the Mac OS X platform they will own younger users. If they don't, they will lose them.
Why on earth would Apple want to create their own Social Network - what's the point?
That would be AWESOME! Then I won't have to bash on two companies, they'll be all rolled into one brand I would never be caught dead using lol There's a reason Faceple sounds like Facepalm lol
+Robert Scoble I've always found it a bit hard to believe that a company like Apple, so hard on privacy and protecting the user from evil developers would partner with Facebook, which for many reasons wants the opposite ;-) It would be logical but it may harm Apple's brand?
+Jonathan Langdale is correct. Openness is going to win in the Information Age. Walled Gardens do not an open society make.
Doesn't apple get social graph info from iTunes?
+Robert Scoble I think integrating Siri in to Facebook as well as other apps would bring a lot of change in of itself. The tool has already revolutionized my workday as well as commutes. At my desk I am using siri almost completely to schedule appointments.
Tim Cook and Apple don't need to "respond" to Google. Just keep doing what they are doing. It seems to be working, yes? Apple has a roadmap planned out for years in advance. No need to alter the plans already laid out. Come on, Scoble, do you really think Apple is worried?
From the online feature tours of ICS I've seen so far it appears to actually go deeper down the road of OS sprawal. I believe that the depth and breadth of the featureset is fascinating to true techies - in the same way a high-end DSLR is to enthusiasts. But, honestly, to the common smartphone user do they really care about the granularity of battery saver for example??? In a way, Windows Phone have the best mobile OS at the moment simply because it is so simple. Even iOS 5 has fallen in to the feature trap to some extent.

What Google have done with ICS is certainly a step forward, but I do not think it's much difference in appearance and feel from 2.2. Sorry if that offends, but it just seems like an OS by engineers, for engineers... And I consider myself extremely technical - but sheesh, it's exhausting even to watch on a feature demo.
Apple needs to make a coffee machine that makes coffee when I ask it to via my iPhone, cleans the filter and puts the coffee in, etc.
One way for Apple to start competing with Google would be to deliver cheap handsets with a beautiful iOS.
Boxee rocks, but it just needs the big players to accept it as a viable platform, and it won't ever get it alas. Slap an Apple logo on it, and it'd get far more attention! The iPhone4s NOT having NFC was a huge surprise to me, a missed chance that Google will use and abuse? All exciting stuff, plenty of room for everyone to grow.
Google is very dangerous when the time comes. Apple and Facebook got their right time already.
I'm just glad theres competition. It's good for everyone.
In short, after seeing the Android release tonight, not much... sadly!
Icecream Sandwich and the new phones from Samsung and Motorola really look great, +Robert Scoble
I'm considering to give Android a try, too. On the other hand: Software and Hardware advances in the Android world both seem to be about "features". Apple, in the past, never competeted on features. Medium term this certainly will lead to market shares well below 30% It will still be immensely profitable, if they play it right.

Design-wise I still would prefer the 4s to both Samsung's and Motorola's offerings, even though I was generally disappointed about the upgrade to the 4s
I think Apple should get into more advanced areas to keep the competition alive.
The good part is now Apple has a solid base platform.
The bad part is the completion is already moving at exponential strides (Google).

the thing is though, Google aims for the mass market everything, and Apple, for the most part, aims for the smaller, wealthy demographic.
I much prefer the workflow of the droid vs the iphone. just works better for me.
Very good points, +Robert Scoble . I still feel that Apple has a plan and a strategy, and they probably do not need to drop everything and change it due to an Android software update on an admittedly very nice piece of kit from Samsung.
Apple's deal with Twitter may make them refrain from considering an integration with Facebook for a short while but that could certainly be a long-term possibility. A merger between Apple/Facebook, however, would be too massive and cumbersome... so much so probably that it won't get the necessary legal approvals. But you never know...

Apple buying Twitter, however, seems to be in the realm of possibilities. Though I don't necessarily see why they would have a need to do that.

Anyway, Android looks to be really 'coming together' now with a lot of new phones with amazing features. And Google+ is fast turning into a killer app and will only get deadlier when the integration spans the other Google products (which, according to +Larry Page, is around the corner).

The one and the only thing that'd really make me switch from Android to iOS now would be the Siri app voiced by Ellen McLain (GLaDOS).
+Prakhar Saini Did you read the entire article instead of just the headline? The 2% of that immense profit doesn't mean less actual dollars...
Gbo Tee
What has gotten Apple this far is just that they are different. With Microsoft claiming ownership of android already, google will lose out if this is not stopped. Every company will lose and gain consumers. 
Wait, OK, that was cool, I don't know who or what did it, but that was cool as all hell... I copy and pasted a section of an article and the "Read more: " and link just dropped in...
I just feel very strongly that a large part of Apple's brand was Steve. There was a sense of morality even if it wasn't real, although it probably was. Apple is danger of losing value to it's brand. It can easily counter this with more openness on the iOS.

My own anecdotal experience was that the Mac OS X platform is what helped bring a lot of people back to the Mac, prior to the iPhone and the iPod. If it's all about the AOL user buying an iPad 3 every year, I think Apple runs a risk of losing something important, hard core developer loyalty. But that's just my own perspective. They'll keep making money off beautiful products that work well.

Why do I want to buy a 4GS now? My 3GS works fine. And I feel like Apple is telling me what I can and can't do with my hardware. Okay, if 4GS is the new stuff, why not open up the previous iOS versions and let me do what I want with it now? I feel like Apple frequently burns it's customers that are loyal. I heard that Siri was running on 3GS and 4G, albeit slowly. I also read that was a graphics issue more than it was an actual hardware performance issue. So it's all about the yearly upgrade to a new product for them. It's way too greedy and in the current climate, that doesn't seem like a good way to be.

Even iTunes University is sucking now if you ask me. It's cool at all but Khan is way better. I feel like a lot of the content on iTunes U is old and stale with no interaction.

This is an area that Apple could do a lot with, but it won't make them that much money. They just seem too greedy.

Meanwhile, Google did Project 100* and sponsored Khan.
I think deep integration into Facebook could be seen as a negative, especially by the older less-technical, less-social, privacy conscious crowd. Look at the difficulty spotify had when they required a Facebook login.

People don't want to be forced into (or think that they well be) a social network. 
Tim Cook can spend more money on lawyers and sue Google directly
+Robert Scoble What would Apple get out of a deal with Facebook?
+Robert Scoble Still trying to figure out how Google+ would have known the url from text I copied to the clipboard... You have better inroads though, perhaps you could bring it up to somebody at some point...
+Prakhar Saini I would be more interested to see dollar amounts than percentages. However, Apple does have a different approach than Google, and it shows in the breadth of services... Apple does a few things and they do it very well... Google does, well... everything and some of them are done well...
I think Facebook have bigger plans than being acquired by a manufacturer...

At this point Apple should look at how to bulk up home media as was originally suggested. Maybe they ought to acquire Sonos.

I also think Apple should shift their focus to developing a coherent enterprise management strategy. If they sold iCloud for enterprise and gave businesses a simple MDM that was Apple native, i think they'd have phenomenal uptake.
can't wait to see what is Google's response to siri, it better had some real AI and not just understanding human sentences which by itself is good, but not great.
I'm guessing that of the hundreds of millions of Facebook users, the overwhelming numbers of them are not on Apple devices. That's probably why Apple is a low priority for Mark Zuckerberg
I'm all in for 3,4 and 5 - I hope the best for 2, knowing this is a minefield - even more on an international perspective. (and personally i don't care about 1). I'm curious if and what siri will be in five years...
+James Pakele It's not Google but the website that adds the Read More and link to what you copy. Very cool regardless :)
I don't think Apple shaking hands with Facebook is going to stir anything big enough. They tried it before making iOS 5 but didn't seem to work out, now they have joined hands with Twitter and it seems to be working out fine so far. Twitter just released fantastic numbers this week.

Apart from that, there is a lot Apple can do which will swipe the market entirely on Apple's side, for example, deal with Nokia providing iOS on Nokia devices for a very less licensing fee compared to Android. It can be a bang, a huge one in Asian countries and the Indian subcontinent at least because Apple devices are yet luxury items here and every other guy owns a Nokia. I know Microsoft is into a similar kind of a deal with Nokia, but its just a thought.
Rose P
+Robert Scoble MZuker, Apple, GOOG and host others should pay you for your great ideas..for all you know they prolly using all your suggestions :)
+Robert Scoble - more than integration with Facebook - Apple needs to be successful in emerging and developing like China, India,.. and these markets are just embracing 3G and all they need is a good price point to tip the scales.

There are very few Apple Stores in Asia compared to the population numbers there.

Sorry, but if Apple needs to maintain its hot revenue pace - it needs massive numbers and cheaper iPADs.

iPADs are a great product - but the price point just allows the competition to sneak in and jump the bandwagon.

Plain support for 4G/NFC may not push Apples revenues all that much, and iPhone5 needs something big like streaming Apple TV support to continue making those revenue numbers in US/Europe.

An Apple and Facebook merger would be akin to Vader and the Emperor building an evil empire (joking... kind of). I strongly believe that more open platforms should lead us into a new age of communication and information. Go Google... and the next, even more open platform that may one day take its place.
+Prakhar Saini I've seen some really nice Android apps. I don't buy that argument.

This is what is going to happen... You seen these uber small linux boards that have wifi and fit in thumb-drive sized devices? These devices are going to have 4G, 5G, etc. if they don't already.

The revolution you saw with the build-your-own PC is going to happen on the mobile platform. When this happens, the opposite affect that happened with Apple vs Microsoft is going to happen to Apple vs. Google or some other open source mobile OS.

Racing hot rods is what spurred car technology. Kids will be racing electronic devices again. This tech is going to start changing faster than these companies can and it will be a built-your-own-3D-gaming-phone/pad environment. If Apple was smart, it would get ahead of this.

Maybe they already plan to, they're just not done milking the cow.
+Jonathan Langdale unfortunately microsoft wants to impose a software tax on android and they are winning, I am not sure we will see a whole lot of new innovative companies come around android, if they have to pay a software tax to microsoft
+Sandeep Deshpande From what I hear Microsoft is secretly going for the appliance market. They're going to be in your coffee machine, your microwave, etc. I don't think we've heard the last from Microsoft.
+Robert Scoble I wonder when this will come "Google vs. IBM", because, IBM controlled eCommerce -> Microsoft -> "I can't see Apple and Facebook here" "Google" is trying to get in here...
+Prakhar Saini +David Haddad +Robert Scoble -
Exactly - that's what MS is banking on Asias's numbers and a brand new market - I love Facebook too - but having a phone that can integrate with Facebook alone won't cut it for most US/Europe customers, so Round 2 is definitely going to be interesting and being a leader Apple needs to constantly watch its back - its hard staying at the top!
+Sanat Gersappa More like Microsoft apartment complex leases, fully furnished, including all the electronic life integration you need, including upgrades, at one flat rate.

Then your life will BSOD.
+Lester Barrows They're getting billions a year, which should be more than enough to help them make their mobile OS better.
+Sandeep Deshpande it's not like you don't have to pay for WP7 license anyway. I wonder how much is the MS tax, it might not be that much cos most of them settle for license agreement without a fight.
On the one hand, I hate how people call the Kindle Fire a competitor to the iPad. They're completely different classes of device. The Kindle Fire is an ebook reader that's experienced a ridiculous amount of feature creep overnight (and thanks to it's LCD screen, it's entirely unacceptable to me as an ebook reader). On the other hand, considering the price difference, people will buy Kindle Fires instead of iPads, and they'll probably be quite happy with them. I've ranted before on this, but give me any good Android tablet (like an Asus Transformer, or Acer A500) over an iPad any day (having owned an iPad and a Transformer, I feel qualified to say which is better for my purposes, YMMV). I have a small hate-on for the Fire because it largely eschews any Android ties. Without knowing it ran Android, there's very little in the device to indicate it does.

I think what Apple needs right now is cautious balls. A seeming contradiction, but I mean something quite reasonable with it: Tim Cook needs to show he's not Jobs 2.0. Despite not being an avid Apple user, I think I know why people have developed such an attachment to the Apple products, and it's not a matter of product superiority outright. The confidence we have in Apple came from knowing there was one man at the helm. He had a board of directors behind him, but it was Steve Jobs who ruled, what Steve said went. He won that right when Apple ousted him and started circling the drain, buying his new company off him in a desperate bid to bring him back, and he righted the company and made it the titan it is today. Steve became something of a mythical figure. Now, Tim Cook doesn't need to be, and really can't be the same kind of mythical figure Steve was/is. What he can do is state his goals clearly, and take a firm grasp of leadership. His vision doesn't need to be the same as Steve's (though a not-too-radical departure would be nice), it needs to be his, and it needs to be clear and concise. People need the kind of confidence in Tim Cook that they had in Steve Jobs. Tim Cook needs to have a few of his own pet projects, and to put his own stamp on the way Apple does things. My biggest concern for Apple is that they'll try and slavishly stick to a "Jobsian" path. I hope Steve wasn't arrogant enough to pick a lackey to be his successor; I would hope Steve picked Tim Cook as someone who could take the helm and guide Apple on his own coarse.
thats true +Jerome A. F , but for small companies with new innovative devices or business models based on free android, I think the budget could go haywire if microsoft later on decides to sue them, they will have to plan with the possibility of microsoft asking for the tax later on. We aren't talking about samsung, HTC etc, they will pay those 2-5 dollars per android phone, not a big deal.
I'm not big on Apple products although I admire their philosophy (Jobs' ultimately), but I guess my question would be: do they really need to do something about Google? Even after looking at what ICS has to offer I still see the divide between Google and Apple users resides on perception of ease of use and how easy is to relate to a particular product (iPhone vs Smartphone), my sister will always be an iPhone user because she has not the slightest interest in learning about other options, an iPhone is good enough for her (and rightly so, it is an amazing product), so I think Apple can really benefit from multiple social networks instead of focusing on one. I'll worry the day they become mainstream (being top-stream today)
+Robert Scoble I just don't think Apple needs Facebook. I certainly don't think Apple would want to brand their devices with anything else except Apple. does not fit their MO. Apple is also known for their customer service, FB not.
+Charles Vaz: Spot on, mate! Here in India, you need to shell out INR 30,000 (around $600) to get your hands on iPhone 4 (4S isn't even out yet I think). For that amount, pretty much everyone prefers to go for a Samsung Galaxy S2 or an HTC Sensation. People looking for cheaper alternatives can get a decent Android device from Samsung/Motorola by only spending around $150. And things get even cheaper if you go for for some lesser known brands (the quality tends to suffer of-course).

The point is that for people who're somewhere in the middle, Apple could be a favorable option if they evolve customer friendly (NOT operator friendly) partnerships with the leading mobile service providers here. Phones in India are not contract bound and people don't really have to think twice about replacing a device which they don't like or are bored of... and this is where Apple can really shine as an alternative. As things stand right now, owning an Apple device in India is more about owning a kind of 'status symbol' than a product which offers true value for its money.
+Lester Barrows -
Apple's USP is actually "not being too open" and most Apple users like that!

The problem about being too open is you start getting a plethora of applications developed but less overall quality and the base OS platform tends to stuffer.

Google(Android) had an exponential rise because of their open platform - but for the user it means a lot of choice and that can be confusing leading to a bifurcation of profit margins. And this is another reason why Apple stock is it is today.

Apple has kept the consumer well protected from spurious Apps (not saying every App developer is bad) thus ensuring uniform rich content on a stable platform.

Round 2.0 is more on advancements in the platform and new emerging markets.

MS tied up with Nokia hoping to clear Asian middle class markets and thus catching up from behind using "numbers" so it's definitely interesting to watch.
Ming Er
To echo +Charles Vaz, Apple takes the closed market position and is making bucket loads of money from it, requiring little capital reinvestment. See how much mileage they got out of the little purchase of Siri or their CPU maker. It's the other companies like Google that have to shell out the big $$ to defend their profit positions.

The rock here is Apple. Instead of asking what Apple needs to do, better ask if the other dancing monkeys are spending their money wisely.
+Ming Er that's a good point from shareholders point of view, from a consumers point of view, I want cheaper Iphones and that can only come about due to better competition from Android and others.
Apple has those buckets of money partly because it doesn't pay dividend, and other companies do
Just imagine the amount of rubbish that would be posted online if Siri could tweet and post Facebook updates. Information overload x 1 million.
the structure of the company that makes the difference , the kind of openness its the key for success .I think Google is on the way
+Robert Scoble facebook integrated phone is being mentioned for years now, if it was such a big deal, massive selling point, why no one actually created one yet? All major brands have dedicated facebook apps which for facebook is probably enough. Isn't WinPhone the best integrated with it by bringing FB contacts into the address book?
I think Apple after along time would face serious competition and it just might be good for them that now they have a new ceo....Be more open may be..
Google: We are coming! We are coming to your house! We are omniscient! Embrace our awesomeness!
I for one find the Galaxy Nexus HUMONGOUS and vastly prefer the size and heft of the iPhone. Not won over one bit because of that. Will miss the Google-centric stuff but hope the apps will improve
+Ming Er of course they're spending their money wisely. what's the alternative? not competing in this rapidly growing market? see how much of OME's revenue comes from smartphones.
"What could Tim Cook do to keep Google from taking over everything?"

Get iPhone 5 out sooner rather than later. iPhone 4S going up against Galaxy Nexus and subsequent quad-core SoC handsets running ICS is a problem for Apple.
Sure, "regular" people don't care about hardware specs, and Apple has always done a superb job with optimized performance and slickness on old-news hardware -- but if they don't start speeding their releases up a bit, their devices will start looking frumpy to the youngsters.
+Robert Scoble are you willing to take on the 5mp camera of the Galaxy Nexus ? the new Razr has 8mp, I might wait for Google next phone since you don't have to wait an eternity for updates then.
+Robert Scoble Looking at your posts which contain a lot of Apple, if Android can sway you then I would say is is a major victory for Google. You aren't alone, many Googlers I've added are also die hard mac fans it seems (which seems odd).
+Robert Scoble : Have you seen TI's preview of its OMAP 5 platform? Texas Instruments OMAP 5 Platform
Touch-based smartphones did not convince me that they were a good replacement for the utility of a Laptop, but the gesture-based interface shown in this video made me think of replacing my laptop.

Google's and Samsung's choice of the OMAP platform is excellent. In my opinion, this is where the future is.
Linking Siri with anything to do with facebook would definitely get me to rethink using Apple products.
It was said that Steve Jobs left Apple with a 4 year product lineup and roadmap. It will be interesting to see how adaptive his ideas were.
What I can not understand is why Apple keep a pile of more than 80B in cash. I believe that they are preparing for something big.
+Robert Scoble You still keep going with your idea about Facebook and Apple (If I recall correctly you were saying that when iPhone "5" was due)? Why do you think FB needs to be a part of Apple iOS? You know majority of people do NOT share publicly on G+? We do not need FB to keep sucking all our personal info into their platform. I would ne strongly against it. FB still has privacy issues, isn't it?

What Apple really needs to do is to step away from their tight ecosystem. Their iCloud needs to be more "cloud" and less "i". I want access to my documents and contacts on windows machine as well. Or on Ubuntu, or whatever. Apple can go after Dropbox for instance. Get the SD card slot into their phone. Make a missed call sound reminder (not just SMS).
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