Apple’s New Competition?

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On October 19th, Google will unveil their new 2017 line of hardware products, which ranges from the highly anticipated Pixel 2 line to two new Google home assistants, competing for valuable space in the smart home market with Amazon’s echo line. Overall, google launched nine new products: the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones, the Pixelbook and the Pixelbook Pen, Google Home Mini and Google Home Max, the Pixel Buds (smart earbuds), the Daydream View (VR goggles), and the Google Clip (a smart camera that acts as a personal photographer).

This release creates a full-fledged Google hardware ecosystem that includes almost every aspect of a consumer’s technological interactions. Up until now, Google has been primarily a software company, with a few hardware devices as peripheral parts of the company, but now it seems that Google is committing to establish a hardware side of their business.

The creation of a hardware business does not mean that Google is moving away from focusing on software. In fact, Google’s software is probably the most impressive aspect of their new product line. Google’s expertise in machine learning and artificial intelligence is highlighted in their new hardware products with a camera that takes pictures on its own, earbuds that can translate in real time, and a personal assistant that has been hailed as the smartest assistant available right now.

However, the most impressive aspect of Google’s hardware and software combination is the integration across all of the Google devices. Google’s new line of products creates a product ecosystem that so far only Apple, with their closed software ecosystem, has been able to produce. The lack of a full product ecosystem has given a disadvantage to open source, or open licensed operating systems such as Windows and Android when competing with Apple’s product line of seamlessly integrated smartphones, PCs, Desktops, Watches, TVs, and Tablets.

The new Pixel line of products, combined with Google’s existing software platforms and data centers, has positioned Google to create competition in a space Apple has dominated since the 2007 release of the first iPhone. Apple’s ecosystem remains much stronger than Google’s, with a broader range of products and a large user base, but they are no longer the only company with a robust and connected line of devices If Google continues to develop their Pixel line, Apple may be up against some serious competition.

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About the author

Luc Coté is a 16 year old Junior at St. Mark’s School. In his free time Luc enjoys coding, building things, politics, and grilling. Luc is a self-proclaimed grill master, a member of Students for Sustainability, an enthusiastic Peer Tutor, and co-founder of the Young Independents club. Luc hopes to soon start a Coding Club at St. Mark’s as well. Academically, Luc is an involved and passionate student with interests in Computer Science, Math, Physics, Engineering, and History. Luc joined the Parkman Post to combine his enjoyment of politics with his love for STEM.

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