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Thursday, September 09, 2010, 07:10 pm PT (10:10 pm ET)

Rivals and partners comment on Apple's recent moves

Google, Intel and Acer have commented on Apple recently, with comments ranging from praise for its revised App Store policies, to criticism from the co-founder of Acer, which called Apple's products "mutant viruses."

Google

Google Vice President of Product Management Omar Hamoui posted the comments on the Mobile Ads Blog, praising Apple's changes to its iOS Developer Program license. According to Hamoui, "these new terms ensure that Apple's developers have the choice of a variety of advertising solutions (including Google's and AdMob's)."

"This is great news for everyone in the community, as we believe that a competitive environment is the best way to drive innovation and growth in mobile advertising" wrote Hamoui.

Google is "pleased that Apple clarified its terms," continued Hamoui, "We're 100% committed to developing the best possible advertising solutions and formats for the iPhone - as well as for Android devices, BlackBerry devices, Palm devices, Windows mobile devices."

In April, Apple modified the terms of its mobile OS developer agreement to prevent outside advertising agencies from collecting user data. According to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the changes were made to protect user privacy. The restriction was relaxed in June, but a clause was added that seemed to single out Google and its recent acquisition AdMob.

According to the developer agreement, "an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads" would be allowed to collect user or device data. However, "an advertising service or provider owned or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems of development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent."

Although Apple never actually blocked Google or AdMob, some developers were hesitant to implement their ad networks. Scott Dunlap, the chief executive of NearbyNow Inc., told the Wall Street Journal, "We stayed away from adding anything other than the iAd network."

Intel

In an interview with the Journal, Intel CEO Paul Otellini criticized the recently announced Apple TV, saying Jobs took a "step backward" with it. Intel is partnering with Google to launch a rival set top box platform, Google TV, which will begin shipping this month with units from Sony and Logitech.

Otellini promoted Google TV as having the "full internet," unlike Apple TV. He sees Apple TV as appealing to his mom because of its simplicity, while Google TV would appeal to his son.

When questioned about the growing popularity of the iPad, Otellini remarked that the industry would not "let Apple run away with this one."

Although Intel provide chips for all of Apple's Macs, the company has steadily lost ground in non-PC markets. The Apple TV, which used to use an Intel processor, now sports the same custom-built A4 ARM-based processor as the iPad, iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch.

In August, Intel bought the wireless unit of iPhone chipmaker Infineon for $1.4 billion as part of a play to regain lost ground in the wireless space. Infineon makes the baseband chip for the iPhone.

Acer

Acer founder Stan Shih in an interview compared Apple's products to "mutant viruses" which are hard to cure in the short-term. According to the Digitimes report, Shih believes that "PC vendors will eventually find a way to isolate Apple and become immune."

Shih admits that Apple deserves to be respected, but sees Apple's "closed" strategy as weaker in the longer-term than that of other PC brands. Drawing comparisons to the Windows versus Mac and Betamax versus VHS showdowns, Shih believes "open" eventually wins.

Apple's "culture of innovation" can be learned from, though, according to Shih. He believes Taiwan's industry focuses too much on hardware and should instead incorporate Apple-like creativity to go after the nascent Chinese market.

In August, Acer chairman JT Wang predicted that the market share of the iPad will drop from 100 percent to between 20 to 30 percent.