Will Apple's partner approach trump Google in mobile?

Will Apple's partner approach trump Google in mobile?

Summary: Apple is teaming up with third parties on iOS integration and one analyst is betting that the company will steal some of Google's Android market share.


Apple's move to systematically drop Google from its iOS could pay off in the future as the company gains mobile market share with the help of various partners, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

In a research note, Munster reckoned that Google will struggle trying to create a unique mobile experience with Android. Apple will focus on "the next phase of mobile OS innovation, integrated services" and poach market share. The news comes a day after news that Apple will omit Google's YouTube from iOS 6.

Bottom line: Munster is betting that Apple can cut out Google, add its own technology and selectively partner to bolster iOS with the help of Twitter, Facebook and other third parties. Munster said:

Google is trying to create a unique mobile experience by further integrating its own variety of services into Android. While currently the battle has no clear leader, we believe that the next phase of mobile OS innovation, integrated services, will begin to favor Apple as the front runner. At this point we believe Apple's strategy of integrating best of breed 3rd party partners gives them the upper hand as it forces Google to venture outside its core competency of search. We believe Apple's advantage (partner approach) in this next phase of mobile will help iPhone's global smart phone share to increase from 20% in CY12 to 32% in CY15, while Android share will drop from 58% in CY12 to 53% in CY15.

The upshot is that Munster thinks the mobile platform wars are entering a new phase---the third inning. The first inning revolved around OS features and the second was all about third party apps. Google has closed the Apple gap on both counts. Now integrated services are the battlefield.


Munster said that Apple is taking a partner approach. That argument holds---unless you count Google as a partner. But Apple has worked with Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and others to integrate them into iOS. Google relies on its own brands---Google+, Gmail, Zagat---to make Android unique.

As for the fourth inning, Apple and Google will duke it out on commerce and local deals. Munster argues that Apple will integrate Groupon, LivingSocial and others. Google will bet on Google Offers.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Apple, iOS, Mobile OS

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Already There for Android ?

    Doesn't Android already widely support both twitter and fb integration?
    • yep,

      You're right and just about everyone of the apps or services Larry listed for Apple can be installed on Android and set as default.

      Basically, this is about having real choice or taking what Apple offers you. The real problem of course, is that Google's offerings are usually the best there is!
      • Actually, what it's _really_ about is

        whether or not you're going to use your mobile platform to fuel Google's "Algorithim" so they can sell better-targeted ads. This isn't a battle against Google per se (Steve Jobs is dead and his jihad on Android is too), it's about whether Apple wants to keep sending valuable data directly to Google by default or letting users do it by choice.

        Gene's right about Apple's advantage with partners. Apple's motivations are clear and obvious-sell high-margin hardware. Apple attracts a high-value consumer who's already made it clear they're willing to spend money, so if your 3-rd party product is good enough you can make money on it. Android's sole purpose is to bring data into Google, and with it's long history of free, Google services tend to attract the "fee-averse" which is hardly helpful for 3rd-parties.
        • So by high value customers you mean,

          They have more money than brains! lol

          PS: Just joking, have many friend and family with apple products. Just don't choose to use them myself.
          • Some do have more money than brains ;-)

            But over all Apple customers are willing to pay for what they want regardless of their financial position in life.
      • Baloney

        Google are trying to push their own services onto people. Of course Android offers choice....so does Apple. FB, twitter, digg, linkedn, yelp, gorupon, living social,...etc,etc...are all on both platforms.
        Does FB let Google have access to their ecosystem...no. MS and Apple are doing deals with FB to give them access...same as twitter...same as yelp...same as others.
        The problem with Google is that everyone knows what is installed by default is what 90% of people will use. That means every competitor to Google will be wary about giving Google more power (in terms of more Android handsets sold). They do not want to be frozen out of the market just like WP was by MS or Lotus 123 was by MS or every other company steam rolled by MS.
        Apple make money on hardware and software and services and they can remain profitable without having to be the marketleader in ALL the above services. Google do need/want to be in control of all services...that is the difference.
    • apps does not equal integration

      Windows Phone crushes both ios and android in this department
      Johnny Vegas
      • OK

        but not that anyone would know with no market share.
      • The only thing Window Phone will crush

        Is itself under the massive weight of Window 8..,.
        Jumpin Jack Flash
        • ignorance

          Is no excuse, neither is comments that have no merit.
      • Re: apps does not equal integration

        Your'e right. No other platform has Android's open-ended "share this" function, built on top of its extensible "Intents" architecture. Both Apple and Microsoft require piecemeal solutions that involve the OS being updated to support every new social networking site.
        • Only Google

          How is it this "Intents" thing is any unique?

          You either let users use different applications for the different (new) sites that pop up around, or you use system APIs to let them hook into platform's "social" interfaces. Both approaches have their benefits and failures and none is unique to Android.
      • windows

        Yes, we know what an monolithic "OS" can do.
        Of course, we know they claim it is modular.
      • Go ahead,

        Please explain the integration WP will give me that I don't get with iOS right now?
    • Unfortunately...


      I now have a vanilla Android experience on my Sensation, but the htc packaged ROM came with Facebook, Twitter and a bunch of other crud I didn't want.

      My Windows Phone 7 came with Facebook integrated into it from the beginning, now Apple are following suit.

      I don't "do" Facebook, so I don't want resources wasted on such things, leave them as Apps and let me decide what I want to integrate!
  • Wow. And certain people here complain about MS's 'patner approach'

    claiming Apple treats it partners 1000 times better.

    Nice way to treat a partner, Apple,
    William Farrel
    • Hey shmidt was on apples board while google

      was copying ios into android so I hardly blame apple for wanting to ditch them. They did evil and keep on doing it.
      Johnny Vegas
  • Not sure what munster is thinking but

    I don't think any of these apple partnerships are exclusive. You'd have to be an idiot to do that with apples shrinking share.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Based on what credible evidence do you claim Apple's share to

      Be shrinking?

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • "Johnny Vegas", "credible"-ah Jim, you make me laugh!

        I'm sure you realized the irony of those words in the same sentace as soon as you typed them.