The premise of this piece is absurd. It diminishes the significance of the smartphone in the real physical world, and attaches overwhelming significance to an intention to build a prototype of a driverless car sometime in the future.
This piece is written in the most weirdly entitled tone too, the author appears genuinely furious that a company has bought another company that he isn't interested in.
Google wants to build a self-driving car, [insert science team] is trying to cure cancer.
Google wants to build a self-driving car, Bill Gates wants to end poverty.
I mean, we can make comparisons all day and always have one side look like superficial nonsense.
Yes, the comparisons are strange because it's comparing apples and oranges. Pun unintended. These are two different companies with two different motivations. It's obvious that they both have overlapping interests in smart phones, tablets and etc...but by far you can see the differences in their values by what they invest in most and how they present their investments.
This article exemplifies the horse-race mentality that too many folks bring to tech companies these days. Google and Apple happened to do two things the same week: let's compare and see who is better!
Very different companies, very different businesses.
Honestly I think Google comes off looking sillier here. While I do appreciate that they're reaching for Cool Future Stuff, they're an advertising company that floats a bunch of maybe-someday hardware ideas. Apple is a hardware and media company that bought a very successful hardware and media company and somehow they're supposed to be the dummies?
I see it differently.
Google is not an advertising company, regardless of how they make their money. They're a search and technology company. They're not a consumer electronics company (at the moment).
Google develop their R&D projects very publicly; think Project Loon, Glass and self-driving cars. It's to their benefit to do that - their brand image goes up when they show off a new R&D project video (think the original Glass video or the various self-driving car videos). Why do they do this publicly? Because it's not how they make their money. They're always researching Search stuff, no doubt - but they don't do it nearly as publicly, because it's primarily where people see ads and therefore how the company makes money.
Apple do the opposite. They probably have similar stuff that they're researching - maybe more focused on consumer electronics. But they still research Cool Future Stuff, just in secret and behind (very) locked/closed doors. And they do it in secret because years down the line, they might sell it to consumers. Sure, Google will too, but, like with self-driving cars, probably through partners like Ford and Toyota, at least to start with.
The benefits of Google developing in public outweigh the negatives; the same is true for Apple but in reverse.
Apple doesn't want to sell you fancy headphones, it just want to sell you heartbeat sensored earbuds/headphones. (patent they registered more than a year and a half ago) Imho it's the main reason they bought Beats, fast market penetration to prove that their Healthbook (iOS 8) is the next thing working globally in healthtech.
Thought this was worth sharing. I think the comparison is strange, though.