iPhone 5 Seeks Google+ App As 1/3 of iPhone 4 Users Think They Ha
Apple’s focus behind the scenes right now is in readying the iPhone 5 for launch, even as Google is nagging it to approve an iPhone/iPad/iOS app for its new Google+ social network. And in other news, whether the iPhone 5 includes 4G networking may not matter as more than one in three iPhone 4 users believe they’re on 4G already, in a week in which the iPhone news keeps getting stranger.
Google’s main priority right now is cradling its newly launched Google Plus social network, which wants to rival Facebook but is still in the early invite-only stages. One Google employee claims that Google has already submitted a Google+ iPhone app to Apple for inclusion in its App Store, but there’s no sign of it having gone live – raising the question of whether the Google+ iPhone app might or might not even arrive before the iPhone 5 itself. Apple typically takes a bit of time to hand-test every app submitted before green-lighting it in order make sure it won’t break your iPhone, but some iPhone-using Google+ testers are beginning to wonder if Apple isn’t holding up the works on purpose.
After all, Google and Apple have become bitter rivals ever since Google CEO Eric Schmidt was secretly working on the Android OS at the same time he was also sitting on Apple’s board of directors and had access to iPhone secrets. Apple fired him, and has subsequently won a lawsuit against Android hardware manufacturer HTC which is claims was more or less xeroxing the iPhone’s underlying technology for use in its Android phones. Whether cold blooded payback or mere procedural patent protection, relations between Apple and Google are at an all time low.
And now the two appear to be engaged in a game of chicken to see whether public opinion among iPhone users turns against Apple for not greelighting the Google+ app, or against Google for launching Google+ at a time when it didn’t already have all its ducks lined up. Thus far, nearly all Google+ users come from the geekiest one percent of the population, a group which has largely forsaken the iPhone in favor of the geek-leaning Android, even as the mainstream continues to drive iPhone sales higher. The remarkable part of this game of chicken over the Google+ iPhone app, if indeed there is one, is that Apple and Google don’t even compete in the social networking space (unless you count Apple’s Ping, and at this point no one does). Or it could just be that Apple’s approval process is a bit bogged down as Apple puts its focus into launching not just the iPhone 5 but also iOS 5, which will require many App Store apps to be updated in order to take advantage of its new features. Or it could be that the Google employee who claims a Google+ iPhone app has been submitted to Apple was wrong. This one bears watching further.
Meanwhile, the brouhaha inside the tech beltway about whether the iPhone 5 should have 4G LTE (or any kind of 4G) networking, and whether there might be backlash against a 4G iPhone 5 once users figure out that Verizon and especially AT&T haven’t come close to building their “nationwide” 4G LTE networks yet, may ultimately not matter. According to survey of current iPhone 4 users done by Retrevo, more than a third of them believe they’re already using 4G. So does this mean that iPhone users are stupid and don’t know what they’re buying? Nope, it merely goes to show that the vast majority of consumers still don’t know what “4G” is or means, despite bombardments of ads from the carriers claiming that 4G is a must-have feature.
The iPhone 4 is the fourth generation iPhone and thus has a “4″ in its name, so some folks have just assumed that it referred to “4G, whatever that is,” or so the mainstream thinking goes. That means even more confusion when Apple launches the “iPhone 5″ which will lead some users to believe it’s “5G” which of course doesn’t exist yet in networking terms – not that 4G networking really exists much yet either. Here’s more on the iPhone 5.