With the recent release of its iPad, Apple is poised to challenge Google in the current cloud computing crusade, say Gartner analysts. Apple’s iPad is expected to offer the most compelling mobile Internet experience to date, but later on in 2010 Google is predicted to introduce its own version for mobile Web consumption in the form of netbooks built on its Chrome Operating System.
If Apple’s tablet PC catches on like the company hopes it will, then it could serve as a foil for Google’s cloud computing fans. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has already proclaimed that holding the iPad is like “holding the Internet in your hand.” The 9.7-inch IPS screen on the device displays high-def video and other content, like e-mail, e-books and games to be consumed from the cloud.
Author Nicholas Carr, an avid follower of cloud happenings, explains the intentions of Apple in introducing the iPad by saying, “It wants to deliver the killer device to the cloud era, a machine that will define computing’s new age in the way that the Windows PC defined the old age. The iPad is, as Jobs said today, ‘something in the middle,’ a multipurpose gadget aimed at the sweet spot between the tiny smartphone and the traditional laptop. If it succeeds, we’ll all be using iPads to play iTunes, read iBooks, watch iShows, and engage in iChats. It will be an iWorld.”
An iWorld? Not if Google has its say! Later on in 2010 Google is expected to unveil its very own version of the Internet able to be held in users’ hands: netbooks based on Chrome. Companies like Acer and Asustek Computer are also building a range of Android-based tablets and netbooks, while Dell CEO Michael Dell was recently seen showcasing the Android-based Dell Mini 5 tablet at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It sounds like Apple may have more competition that just Google!
The iPad will undoubtedly be a challenge to Google’s plans for cloud computing, which include making Google search and Google apps able to reach any device connected to the Web. According to Gartner analyst Rau Valdes, Apple and Google are bound to face off with similar machines. Said Valdes to eWeek, “You could look and say that iPad is being targeted to the broad market of casual users rather than, say, the road warrior who needs to run Outlook and Excel and the people who are going to surf the Net on the couch. One could say that a netbook based on Chrome OS would have an identical use case.”
Consumers will eventually have to choose between shelling out around $499 for an iPad (that is just a base price, mind you) or a similar fee (or possibly lower) for a Chrome netbook. Valdes thinks that there are two types of users: a parent figure consuming Internet content on a Chrome OS netbook and a teenager playing games purchased on Apple’s App Store on an iPad. Stay tuned to see what happens when Apple and Google collide with similar machines later on in 2010.