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Apple's Problem Isn't Cosmetics, It's Google


3. Better services:

Docs: With Google, you can simply open up a web page on almost any platform -- Chrome OS, Android, Apple's iOS, Microsoft's Windows -- and create a word document, spreadsheet or presentation, for free. Open and edit on any device.

With Apple? Not so much.

Maps: Actually, let's not go there, shall we?

Just-In-Time Information: Google has NOW. Apple has NO-thing.

Voice: With Google, I get a free phone number and it works on most of my devices -- all PCs, all Apple iOS, all Android. With Apple? No such thing.

Calendar: The Google calendar works on every device, from every maker. Apple's calendar? It's great if you use only Apple hardware; otherwise... not so much.

What about tech support? Apple has great tech support, the best in the business. The Apple stores are little museums, and everything is neat and clean. If you have a hardware issue with your iPhone, the Apple store will be more helpful in making things right than any other entity.

But you know what's better than the best tech support in the world? No need for any tech support in the first place, that's what.

At least on the software side -- and that's where the action is for most people -- with Google, all you do is to log in with your Google ID, and then everything "just works." Apple has tried to copy this but, as we all know, it is just not that easy to get it to work. It takes a few trips to the Apple store to get it right.

But wait, there's more!

Google's attack on Apple isn't stopping there. In the coming year, as I have been writing in previous articles, Google will start to offer free mobile telephone service to go along with its free SMS service. This will enable you to buy a sub-$300 Android smartphone contract-free, and pair it with a $20 per month data plan, saving you up to $70 per month compared to an iPhone.

That's $70 per month -- $840 per year, or $1,680 over the iPhone's two-year contract.

The price pressure on Apple has barely started. It's going to get a lot worse. The peasants -- Google and its umpteenth partners -- are storming the castle; the hyenas are biting into the gnu's flesh.

And I haven't even mentioned the future Chromephones and Chromepads.

The advent of Chromepads and Chromephones starting over the next year or so will further help Google lower its prices and improve the quality of its cloud services. More headaches for Apple.

So Apple, please tell me you have something more important to announce next week than changing the look of the icons on the iPhone. If you don't have anything else material to show, please tell me beforehand, so I can sell my stock.

At the time of publication the author was long GOOG, AAPL, INTC, NVDA, BRCM and QCOM.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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