Is Apple’s MobileMe the wrong move?
I wonder why Apple invested in building MobileMe, when Google has such strong momentum in the online
app space, with Gmail, GCal, GReader, GDocs, etc. And Yahoo and Microsoft are the market leaders in online apps, with hundreds of millions of users of Yahoo Mail and Hotmail.
Consider what MobileMe is up against. One on hand, Google’s apps are more mature than their equivalents at MobileMe, and they’re
free. One the other, Yahoo and Microsoft enjoy loyal customers who haven’t switched to Google, despite that company’s innovation in online apps.
Think about it: if you’re a loyal Gmail user, how much better would MobileMe need to be to get you to switch? It’d have to be a lot better. Is Apple going to be able to out-innovate Google in online apps? Especially since online apps is Google’s core business, and only a side business for Apple.
It seems to me that it would have been a better use of Apple’s
development resources to build stronger two-way integration between their own native apps on the iPhone and Mac, and leading online apps from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, and others. (True, some
integration already exists, but there are many, many missing pieces.)
If Apple did this, it would give users the best of both worlds. Users could easily publish, share, and backup their documents, photos, and other digital assets to the cloud. They could also download for safekeeping their online data, and online identity, that they’ve spent so much time creating.