Apple vs Google: Tale of the tape

Apple and Google are moving into each other's markets - but who will come out ahead?

Apple is a hardware company. That's what it does, and if you ask most, it does it well. The recent iPhone 4 reception issue is the exception that proves the rule. Every other manufacturer has put out a few duds. Apple releases a gorgeous, market leading phone with a few minor issues, and it's such a shock that we need press conferences and bumper cases to calm us down.

Sure, MacBooks are a wee bit overpriced, and the recent admission of TimeCapsule flaws shows Apple isn't perfect, but other manufacturers would love the track record of the Californian firm. The iPod was the best-selling MP3 player, the iPhone 4 has sold three million units, MacBook Pros are the darling of the demanding design industry, and the iPad has created demand for a product thought laughable until Steve Jobs strode the stage to unveil the tablet PC.

And Google? We can't wait to see the tablets and netbooks and ULV laptops that will arrive later this year running the Chrome OS, but the hardware will come from manufacturers across the industry, likely not Google itself. Even its own name-brand Nexus One phone was put together by HTC.

While Apple controls much of the ecosystem around its products, Google keeps it open. We prefer Google's approach, but there's no denying Apple's control issues led to some mighty fine devices. On hardware, advantage goes to Apple.

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