I’ve been watching reviews from my favourite sources ( link ) ( link ) ( link ) on the improvements that the Samsung S9 Plus have bought – even though it isn’t something I’ll probably buy any time soon it is good when a competitor to Apple raises the bar which will motivate Apple to lift their game. On the hardware side it is very similar to the S8 Plus but when it comes to the software it’ll be one of those things you’ve gotta find out in person at the store because right now there are rumours that Apple is really tightening up on the software quality especially after the couple of high profile embarrassing security bugs were quickly fixed towards the end of last year and the beginning of this year.
I think the interesting part of the equation has been Google finally getting its act together in regards to having first clear lines of demarkation between what each of the products actually do. The two most publicised examples of that would be the consolidation of various payment services (Android Pay, Google Wallet plus the autofill feature in Chrome is now branded in the pop up dialogue with the Google Pay branding) and the second being the rebranding of Hangouts as a business orientated collaboration service similar to that of Microsoft Teams and Slack where as Allo and Duo can be seen a drop in replacements for Messages and FaceTime respectively.
Part of this has to do with their work to really work on getting their business orientated G-Suite up to standard to really compete head to head with Microsoft especially when it comes to collaborative services because at the moment although they are getting the lions share of the start ups and the small to medium I think that the bigger goal for Google is to also start to head into Microsoft’s own turf to challenge them when it comes to migrating more established organisations into the cloud which is where things will start to get interesting particularly when you look at the Google Doc’s offerings and how they can act as a drop in replacement for Microsoft Office. I also say that in context to the wider issue that Microsoft with office 365 along with Apple (even if it means that the iCloud for Chinese customers resides in a datacenter that is owned and controlled by the Chinese government) has has a presence in China where as Google has found it difficult to enter due to the Chinese government making life difficult but that being said I think Google would be better off focusing on countries that aren’t so paranoid and a lot more open to allowing Google to having a presence in their country.
Getting back on topic, it’ll be interesting to see whether the Pixel 3 will make its way to New Zealand and that the Pixel 2 was the first attempt by Google so they decided to keep the number of markets small so that if things did go wrong it wouldn’t turn into a giant fiasco. It appears that like most large businesses there is always going to be a lag time between the organisation knowing what needs to be done and then turning the organisation around to point in the correct direction in much the same way that it took Intel a while to turn the ship around after the P4 Netburst fiasco and chart a new course. That being said, I understand that to a certain extent the success of Android is very much dependent on ensuring that the ecosystem is vibrant and growing which means Google playing it conservative to ensure that they don’t push out players like Samsung which have a lot of pull particularly in the Asia-Pacific region in much the same way that New Zealander have fond memories and brand loyalty to brands such as Whittakers or Fisher & Paykel.