This 'tit-for-tat' by Google and Apple is interesting. A couple of years ago both had a common enemy, Microsoft. Now, Microsoft products are barely a foot note to Apple's and Google's services and level of innovation. With the former 800lb gorilla out of the way, Google and Apples are testing each others limits.
How did this 'back-slap' fest start? I have no clue what really happened, but I sure as hell think I can deduce how this started...
Apple came out with the iPhone. This is when Eric S. was still on the Apple board, and would 'leave the room' when discussing the iPhone as Google was only working on Android at this point. (Android was far from obtaining acceptance.) With the iPhone facilitating a very quick growing segment, there was no one else to get the mobile phones up to par so that Google can advertise on them.
Google needed to create the Android to create an operating system that would facilitate mobile advertising. Prior to the iPhone, the mobile OS software was SHIT.
Google was smart with creating Android, and help usher in mobile advertising, as the other mobile players (MSFT and NOK) were far from ready to take on the challenge to Apple's level of innovation.
Google royally fucked up when it thought it could beat Apple at its own game. (Look at this CNBC click, at 4:30 into the clip, look how the Fast Money crew just rips into Google... very funny.) Google should not be selling consumer hardware. Leave it to the HTCs or Motorolas of the world. The space moves too quickly for them, and it is too much of a commodity biz for them to even care about it. (Regardless, HTC even helped design the freaken phone so I do not know how Google can call it a Google phone.) So for a 'less than stellar' phone, Google lost a beautiful relationship with Apple.
So now that Google took a direct shot at Apple, obviously Apple has to do the same. Except Apple's shot is going to hurt.
Apple purchased Quarttro (a mobile ad network). Apple has 3 billion downloads off iTunes, 2 billion within the last 2 months alone. Apple can and will stream line their developers, especially those developing the free apps, to utilize Quarttro. It will effectively squeeze out AdMob (and other mobile ad networks) from a majority of iPhones. That is a big piece of the pie Google will not have for these type of applications. This ultimately will hurt Google's wireless efforts.
Kiss and make up big boys, we need both your levels of great innovation. I do not want to return to the world that lacked controlled by Microsoft and Nokia.
(For the record, I really like both companies, Apple and Google.)
Who benefits from this competition... CSCO and QCOM