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GOOGLE VS. APPLE
With 150 million iTunes accounts, it's no surprise
that Apple is responsible for 28 percent of music
sales in the U.S. alone. That includes not just digital
storefronts, but retailers that still sell CDs. (Remember
those?) Apple also recently began selling eBooks (nay,
iBooks)through iTunes.Just two months after launching the
iPad and its iBook store, Apple captured 22 percent of the
eBook market, a category that A mazon long monopolized.
Five of the six largest publishers in the U.S. sell digital ver-
sions of their books through the iBook store, a section of
the larger iTu nes App Store. Whereas Apple's iBooks were
originally available only for iPad owners, people whose
iPhones and iPod touches run iOS 4 can download them as
well, which means publishers now have an even greater
incentive to cooperate with Apple.
Apple's next move? The cloud, at least according to the
tech rumormill. A source apparently familiar with the matter
claims that Apple is making a big push to the web with the
next version of iTunes, which will allow not only wireless
iTunes syncing but also the ability to stream music and
movies from Apple's giant server farms to your PC, iPad,
iPhone, etc. Reportedly, you'll also be able to stream tunes
and premium video from your home computer to other
Five years after its birth, YouTube, which Google
bought in 2006, remains the gold standard for
spreading viral videos, storing home movies, and generally
wasting the world's time. Since the early days, Google has
added advertising to popular videos, and started to include
longer-form content, such as TV shows, in its repertoire.
Meanwhile, scads of cameras and pocket camcorders come
loaded with software that makes it easy to upload movies
to YouTube, specifically.
Meanwhile, in an inevitable, but belated, move, Google
an nounced earlier this year that it would begin selling digital
books. As of press time, the company expected to launch
this venture by June or July. It's unclear which publishers
will sell their eBooks through the store, although given
Google's brand cache, we think publishing houses would
be foolish to ignore the venture.
And that's not the only storefront we can expect. Earlier
this year, The Wall Street Jour nal reported that Google was
planning to launch its own digital music service, which would
compete with iTunes and Amazon's MP3 store. Sources
close to the company said that the music service would be
integrated with Android as well as the Google search engine.
Finally, in yet another announcement, Google u nveiled
Google TV, a collaboration with Intel, Logitech, and Sony
to bring the Google experience to your television, opening
the company up to even more sources of ad revenue.
APPLE For the time being. While Google is likely to attract
publishers and other content providers to its cloud-based
services, Apple has a huge head start on its partnership with
music labels andmovie studios. And while Amazonis currently
a bigger competitor to Apple in the digital book arena, Jobs &
Co. have a sizeable lead here over Google as well.
Cloud Ser vices
Su re, Apple has MobileMe, a $99-per-year ser vice
that syncs Mac owners' calendars, contacts, and
e-mail across multiple PCs and iPhones, hosts photo
albums and websites, and tracks dow n lost or stolen iPhones.
Otherwise, though, the company has been noticeably absent
from the Web 2.0 (now 3.0) revolution. Apple did recently
acquire Lala, the music streaming service. As mentioned
above, this deal spurred rumors of a cloud-based iTunes,
but nothing had materialized, as of press time. Most Apple
obser vers think the company will find a way to roll MobileMe
and iTunes into a single ser vice, but it likely won't materi-
alize until this fall.
Getting things done online? It would be unfair
to say that Google invented the idea, but it sure
did deliver it to the masses. Next to its search engine, Google
is best known for its Gmail service, which boasts almost 200
million users and encompasses notjust mail, but document
le for 28 percent of music sales in the U.S. >> Gmail service boasts
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