Google Stock: Alphabet Inc Delivers Reality Check to iPhone Users

Google StockGoogle Mocks iPhone in Latest Ad

Just days after optimizing its iPhone operating system (“iOS”) “Google Photos” app for the “iPhone 6s” and “6s Plus,” adding a handful of shortcuts called “Quick Actions,” Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), aka Google, has published a video to promote its photo storage service. Meanwhile, Google stock has gained over 17% since the end of last June and 5.76% year-to-date.

In fact, Google stock is trading at an all-time high. That also explains why Google is feeling confident—if not downright boastful—about the photo app, So much so that it has mocked Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) directly in this new ad. The ad shows that Google is targeting iOS—that is, Apple products—smartphone owners. It pokes fun at their relatively small storage, a criticism often leveled against the entry-level Apple iPhone and its 16 GB capacity. It’s not surprising that GOOG stock is rising.

Even though the ad does not mention the iPhone by name, Google makes a key and not-so-veiled criticism: iOS space runs out quickly. Then Google presents the solution, its new app, which can be downloaded on iOS or “Android” devices alike. Google Photos allows you to automatically transfer photos from the roll to Google’s servers, and then delete the originals from the device to free up disk space. It’s as simple as that. One wonders why the Apple “iCloud” doesn’t have a similar and as easy-to-use feature.

Google Photos allows users to automatically save photos and videos on the cloud. The app’s save and sync setting allows users to choose the destination account and manage their storage. Then they can run Google Photos on another device and find the photos.

Why is the Google Photos app so important? Simply put, the app clearly captures the iPhone problem in a picture, no pun intended. It’s one of the most visible ways in which Android is eating into the iPhone’s market share. It also shows that Google has Apple in its sights, and it’s feeling rather competitive about it.

This is not the first time that Apple has been the target of ridicule and attacks from its competitors, especially from Google. Google did it before, even if subtler. During the 2016 Grammy Awards on February 15, professional pianist Ji performed a classic piece—for the record of the 3rd movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata—with virtuosity. Then comes the caption: “A piano has 88 keys. Each of them is different. But what would happen if they were all the same?” Then the pianist runs to a second piano, whose keys all produce the same note, in this case the middle C. Obviously the result is terrible. The ad is aptly named: Monotune–a clear reference to “iTunes.” (Source: “Android: Monotune,” YouTube, February 15, 2016.)

At no time does Google explicitly bring Apple or the iPhone or iTunes into the ad. But the two pianos symbolize the two major mobile operating systems: Android and iOS. On the one hand, Android is an open system that offers users a wide choice of configurations and customization. On the other hand, there is iOS, which is closed, vastly reducing the margins of usability.

More than ever, the world of smartphone platforms is a duopoly. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has tried to interfere in the Android (Google) vs. iOS battle, but, particularly in Europe, there is the sense that it has either given up or lost the match. Apple noted that sales of the iPhones have slowed down. The company desperately needs to launch the “iPhone 7” in order to capture market share away from ever-more-popular Android-based devices, which include the much-loved “Samsung Galaxy S7.”