Apple and Google On Mobile Devices: Who Benefits Most?


Darcy Travios has an interesting article on Forbes about the difference between Apple and Google on mobile devices going forward. I’d be hard pressed to bet against either of these companies, but he makes a good case that Apple is better positioned at this time.

The thrust of his argument is in the area of search, and it makes sense. He argues that search is a completely different animal in the mobile space as opposed to the desktop/laptop space (emphasis mine):

And, to reiterate, the success of the iPhone is due, in part, to the brilliance of the app store and the convenient delivery of (not search for) the services and information consumers want.

He believes that searching on a mobile device is too difficult, and the rise of specialized mobile apps that essentially do the searching for you largely replaces the necessity of that task. I think he’s got a point. I use search on my desktop machines every day, but I can’t remember the last time I did a browser search for anything on my iPhone.

To be sure, it’s not just because of the apps; the mobile form factor isn’t well-suited for searches. Still, I believe searches are drastically reduced on mobile devices, and therefore so are the ads displayed on search results pages. The lack of ads hits Google right in their main revenue stream.

Bottom line is this: If you’re a company that relies primarily on ad revenue from searches, but the hot new platform with chart-busting growth potential is one that does not need or encourage such searches, you can’t ride that wave. Apple will not only ride that wave, they’re likely to crest it.

What about you? How often do you “Google” on your mobile device?

1 thought on “Apple and Google On Mobile Devices: Who Benefits Most?

  1. I google about the same on my mobile device as I do on my desktop device. I suppose one big difference is that I might use an App for a specialized search (say, restaurants) rather than using the web browser to go to a Yelp.

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