All a matter of scale

I sent my buddy Ian (probably the only reader of this blog – Hi mate) an article from Daring Fireball:

Monday, 6 June 2011
Today’s was a jam-packed keynote. Apple announced a lot of news; there is much to talk and think about. But the key line was when Steve Jobs, describing iCloud replacing iTunes as your digital hub, said, “We’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device.”
iCloud is the new iTunes. The tethered digital hub is dead; long live the wireless digital hub. Apple sees iCloud as shaping the next ten years the way the iTunes-on-your-Mac/PC digital hub shaped the last ten.
This is a fundamentally different vision for the coming decade than Google’s. In both cases, your data is in the cloud, and you can access it from anywhere with a network connection. But Google’s vision is about software you run in a web browser. Apple’s is about native apps you run on devices. Apple is as committed to native apps — on the desktop, tablet, and handheld — as it has ever been.
Google’s frame is the browser window. Apple’s frame is the screen. That’s what we’ll remember about today’s keynote ten years from now.

Ian’s response was basically that Google has the economy of scale that will mean they will eventually win out:

I think the Apple world will be more feature rich, but Google will appeal more to the masses, people who don’t want to buy Apple hardware, I think both ideas have a market
Unfortunately this story has been told many times before:
– Betamax v VHS
– Mac OS v Windows 3.x
– iCloud v Google
I’m not saying iCloud will go the way of Betamax, just that it is unlikely to triumph overall

Hmmm, well lets look at the numbers:

Apple announced at the keynote that there are now 200 million iOS devices out there.

Google don’t release numbers however according to Wikipedia: “It is not known how many people use the Google Apps platform, although a Google blog post in March 2010 claimed that 25 million people had “switched to Google Apps.”

So, working on the basis that Google have managed to double their subscribers over the last year and there is a 50% uptake of Apple’s cloud service that’s still leaves Apple with double the number of subscribers of Google and the number of potential customers for iCloud are growing at about 500k/day.

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