Fred Vogelstein of Wired speculates on a possible announcement at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference next week of a strategic alliance between Apple and Google. It's not unlikely. Google CEO Eric Schmidt is on Apple's board for a reason, and I don't think that he got the seat because he and Steve Jobs share their iTunes playlists.
Google likes to makes strategic alliances, but not of great significance so far. The company has collaboration with Sun, without much to show, and this week announced a relationship with salesforce.com that leverages AdWords.
What could Google do with Apple, or more correctly, what does Steve want from Google?
Fred quotes Schmidt talking about what Google and Apple respectively bring to the party:
"We're a perfect back end to the problems that they're trying to solve," Schmidt told me. "They have very good judgment on user interface and people. But they don't have this supercomputer (that Google has), which is the data centers. What they have is a manufacturing business that's doing quite well."
Apple's .Mac effort to create an online portal has been greatly overshadowed by Google, Yahoo, MSN and others. New Mac buyers could find Google's search bar and an offer for Google's set of applications. Or, how about a upload button to YouTube for iMovies or and upload button to Google for iPhotos, tighter integration with the Mac's native iLife set of applications, given the Mac is the multimedia machine of choice.
Or perhaps, Google and Apple will carve out a Mac/iPod/iPhone-centric Google Apps for Your Domain, with some special touches added by the master of product design.
Another possibility: iTunes in the cloud. Wouldn't it make sense to put playlists in a cloud so they could be accessed from the iPhone, your various iPods and anything else with connectivity?
What's your guess?