A few days ago several pictures were posted at the Gizmodo.com blog [here]. In these pictures Steve Jobs (Apple) and Eric Schmidt (Google) are having a conversation at a public coffee shop. I confirmed that these pictures were taken recently. They are not fake or manufactured in any way shape or form. Having seen these pictures, I knew there would be a large number of scenarios, assumptions and rumored stories that would come out of them. What would this meeting be about?
Unfortunately, when I started asking my sources about it, I found myself with a story that would have big implications in the mobile arena. First it was only one of my sources that commented on it, but soon enough I was able to get the cooperation of several other sources that not only knew what was going on, but also were willing to provide with some of their input on it.
Since then, I have learned about several meetings held between Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt in the last few days… and I know what they were talking about. Everybody seems to be very quiet about it… obviously because they work for Apple and Google… but others such as competitors and analysts were willing to provide some interesting points of view about it.
My sources confirmed that these meetings are not only happening but are part of a plan much larger than anyone would ever expect. One of them, who requested not to be identified but is a high executive at Google disclosed that Google is under talks after their pending purchase of a controlling percentage of Apple’s stock.
The SEC will start the review of the terms for the transaction next week. The amount to be paid for the stock purchase has not been disclosed. I assume that this amount will be disclosed eventually. It is still not clear whether this is a "friendly sale" of Apple (as one of our sources put it) or if it’s a "hostile takeover" (as one of the analysts commented).
Additional sources at Apple have even suggested that all Apple products Mac, MacOS/X, iPhones, iPod/iPod Touch and iPad products will undergo a series of changes to gradually adapt them to an open platform, more in line with Google’s principles. This will be a very gradual pace so that the market will not be rattled by it. I am not sure what the real intention after this actions really are, so here are some of the questions I still have:
- Is Google trying to crush the competition in the mobile world by purchasing them?
- Is the rumored iAd, the latest of Apple’s rumored competitor service to Google’s AdWords too much of a threat to Google’s dominance in the Search arena? Especially now that Google’s income in China is at least questionable…
- Is the impending iPad launch too much of a strain to the open development initiatives at Google that grants these actions?
- Will this takeover ultimately benefit the consumer in the short term?
- How will this takeover affect the consumer in the long run?
Official PR sources from the Microsoft camp have declined to make any comments, but technical and business resources in Redmond have reacted with mixed comments, both for and against the said deal. Contacts who are in favor, indicated that it would create an opening for Microsoft in terms of opportunity . Those against it said that the market would react negatively to these actions and would affect all competitors in it.
Independent analysts that I consulted insist that although this is a bold move by Google it will certainly work in all the mentioned scenarios. They also mentioned that it is a stunt that could backfire and flip their "do no evil" image into the "Dr. Evil of the Tech world". Analysts have also commented that it is expected that all Apple products will not be rebranded in order to retain the market appeal they currently have.
In my humble opinion, what I think will happen is that Apple’s brand will be diluted and lose some of the appeal it has to some of their followers. Whether this affects all competitors in the market… who knows!
Also, why didn’t they meet in a more private place???
It should also be noted that this article is… probably… most likely… almost certainly… an April Fool’s Day joke.
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