Ben Thompson on the Google we always wanted:
Android did its job: Google’s signals have unfettered access to users on every mobile platform. Microsoft is in no position to block them, and Apple, for all its bluster, isn’t interested.
Chrome is doing its job: Google’s signals sit on top of an increasing number of PCs, slowly making the underlying OS irrelevant.
Google+ is doing its job: Every Google service is now tied together by a single identity, and identity is the key to data collection on mobile.
This is the thing that people often don’t get: while Google and Apple appear to be competing with each other, because both companies sell a mobile platform, in fact they have entirely different aims and objectives. This means that it’s perfectly possible for both to “win” by their own criteria.
Apple wins by selling the best devices, ensuring no one can stop them delivering the best user experience and making a profit from them. Google wins by improving its advertising products and ensuring that no other company can lock it out, depriving it of potential audience.
This is why the occasional talk of Google pulling or handicapping its iOS products (see the comments here) is laughable. Google doesn’t care if you’re using an iPhone or an Android phone. It cares if you’re using Google services or not. And the best way to get iOS users to use more Google services is to produce better products for iOS, rather than expect them to buy a new mobile phone.