Google is the last company that should partner with Apple.

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Spend enough time in the online content creation business, and there’s a good chance you’ll eventually think of Google as an alien race to Netflix. 3 Body problem: Highly advanced, parasitic, and such a strong opponent that almost nothing and no one can stop it. Which is another way of saying that, no, unlike my colleague Chris Smith I’m not exactly jumping for joy at the prospect of an Apple-Google partnership that brings Google’s creative AI technology to the iPhone.

In fact, the mere idea of ​​such a partnership reminds me of what I absolutely hate about the iPhone maker under CEO Tim Cook — its tendency to preach about values ​​like privacy and security. to do, and then act like any other company when someone sends cash. Apple’s face or local laws command it to do this or that. But I’m getting ahead of myself, coming back to Gemini AI on the iPhone.

It should be noted that such a partnership between Apple and Google is only rumored to be the subject of initial discussions at this time. Apple is said to be considering bringing Google Gemini to the iPhone, largely to compensate for the fact that Apple is starting to look like an even run in the generative AI scramble.

Photo credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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On this last point, let’s make one thing clear. It’s Wall Street, it’s investors, and it’s Silicon Valley who think Apple 8 is behind the ball when it comes to AI. Step out of your bubble, though, and you know what you won’t find? Real people, real iPhone users, claiming they wish their device had a creative AI model. Just like no one, at least where I live, uses Siri on an iPhone. Siri was definitely a cool feature when Apple launched it, but I basically haven’t touched it since.

Additionally, there is a very nuanced approach to the marketplace. “The world,” per se, is not moving toward AI. That is not exactly what is happening; Rather, AI is being forced upon us, whether we like it or not. Which is why, for a start, I reject the premise that Apple is somehow lacking when it comes to AI right now. But, well, let’s assume for the sake of argument that the iPhone is worth undercutting in this regard.

Google, of all companies, is the last company Apple should think of partnering with. Which Google is Apple getting into bed with here, exactly? Google, the monopoly that turned the open web into a wasteland? Google, the surveillance machine that helped convince a generation to trade privacy for convenience? The company whose products are starting to show their age as Googleplex has uncharacteristically turned into a meritocracy-free zone?

Just what Google has done with its core search product — or, rather, the extent to which Google has allowed its search product to decline — should be enough for CEO Sundar Pichai. But there’s no chance in hell. In 2010, Matt Tabby used these words to describe Goldman Sachs in a Rolling Stone magazine article, but today it’s pretty much Google as “a vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, like money.” Anything that smells is constantly jamming its blood vessels.”

Cook, for his part, isn’t shy about addressing the many sins of such companies. “We believe that consumers should be in control of their information,” Cook said during a 2015 speech. And we think that someday, customers will see it for what it is.

Image Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
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Ah, but offer Apple $18 billion to be the default search engine on the iPhone and — of course, Google, no problem; it’s yours. Oh, you’re putting theorists at the forefront of your AI efforts? Let’s talk, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Because it seems even a company with a market cap of over $2 trillion is not immune to the seductive power of money.

And, by the way, it extends far beyond Google.

Cook, in recent days, has been on another of his whistle-stop tours of China, and has been touting how great the country is – and, in particular, China is an important market for Apple. Never mind the fact that it runs a totalitarian regime and is a strategic enemy of the US, with no free market and where artists and journalists are jailed for free-thinking.

Cook’s visit certainly contrasts with the words of U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who said during public comments in 2023 that U.S. business leaders keep telling her that “China is uninvestable.” That the cost of doing business there is high as a result of raids, fines, updates to China’s anti-espionage law, and many other risks — to say nothing of the country’s human rights abuses and authoritarian government. It requires tough compromises with your business. partner

But Apple Is To be there, you might say – otherwise, giving up benefits like cheap labor would mean iPhones would skyrocket in price! And you will have proved my point.

Because your values ​​aren’t really values ​​if you only follow them as long as it makes financial sense to do so.

Apple recently did a version of the same thing in Russia. Before he died under mysterious circumstances at an Arctic panel colony, Vladimir Putin critic and dissident politician Alexei Navalny was working on an app that would help people vote in the (now-completed) Russian presidential election – That is, saying this will help people vote. Thus countering the Kremlin’s lock on precedent.

Russian opposition politician, anti-corruption campaigner and founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), Alexei Navalny, looks on screen during his legal appeal against his nine-year prison sentence at the City Court in Moscow, May 24, 2022. Are coming. in Moscow, Russia. Navalny died in prison under mysterious circumstances earlier this month. Image source: Getty

Navalny’s team ended this work after his death. Like clockwork, Russian censor Roskomnadzor demanded Apple remove the app — and the iPhone maker apparently did just that. “The app, conceived by Navalny before his tragic end, was designed to get out of the quagmire of ‘choice’ under Putin,” Navalny’s colleague Ivan Zhdanov wrote on X/Twitter. “By deleting it, Apple shows compliance in suppressing dissent, betraying those who fight for democracy.”

I know I know. Apple is in the market. Apple must comply with local laws and regulations. But consider this: When was the last time you heard good people protest that “we had to do it, we were just following orders”?

I’ll admit: all of this, for some, probably amounts to an overly simplistic way of looking at the world. Still, I can’t help feeling like the company that once lived by the code of “Think Different” has quietly replaced it with another idea that’s just as simple and straightforward: get paid.

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