It’s no secret that Google and Apple have a long-standing rivalry between them. In fact, it recently has reached almost outlandish heights, and more than a few eyebrows have risen in response to the controversial, privacy-encroaching practices these mobile giants have exhibited in their quest to produce the ultimate 3D mapping system.
As a result, I was quite shocked at today’s announcement that Google Offers’ app is now available for the iPhone!
Google Offers’ free app, available now via the iPhone App Store, taps into a user’s location and then offers nearby deals. It can also send push notifications through the iPhone’s geofencing ability when a user enters the vicinity of a deal. This allows for purchases to be made directly from the iPhone. Additionally, iPhone users can access deals they have already bought right from their iPhone. This eliminates the need to print coupons.
Google, of course, had a web version of Google Offers available previous to the standalone iPhone app, but using the new app is significantly faster. Plus Google found that users spend a lot more time checking Google offers through apps than they do online.
So what is motivating these clashing titans to seek such a peaceful alliance? In my thinking, it all boils down to dollars.
Here’s what I think is happening:
With the iOS 6 system coming, featuring the geofenced Passbook, Google probably realizes genius like that can’t be beat. In retrospect, for Passbook to reach its greatest potential, Apple must know it will have to align with some powerful retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target and, yes, perhaps even Google. Forming these kinds of alliances may facilitate Passbook becoming the new mobile credit card.
Of course, by getting in there early, Google may have its cake and eat it too. Google Wallet might not have risen to heights as the premium mobile payment option, but by forming an alliance with the Apple Passbook, the two could morph into a powerful tool for both retailers and consumers alike.
So, for now, it appears that Google and Apple are making nice. It makes me wonder who might be the next big player to compromise. Personally, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Facebook whittling its way into this marriage of convenience before long.
But that is enough speculation for now. Only time will tell what future compromises may be in store…