Google MD on Apple: 'Open source will win'

Matt Brittin, managing director for Google’s UK and Ireland operations, believes open source poses a problem for Apple.  

Responding to the question, ‘Is Apple unstoppable?’, at the AOP Digital Publishing Summit today, Brittin said, Apple is “brilliant” and has created new experiences for consumers but open source challenges Apple’s closed system.

“In the long run, we think open rather than closed will win. Innovation is great inside a closed system but open is about allowing more people to participate,” he said.

Brittin spoke about the Android operating system (OS) and the ability to change features on smartphones, such as the touch-screen keyboard, by chosing different applications developed through its open source system.

Interestingly, Gartner predicts open-source platforms, Symbian and Android will dominate the mobile OS market with anticipated OS sales of 264 million and 259 million respectively in four years’ time.

Brittin also said HTML5 will enable more engaging web pages.

“The pace of change is accelerating, wait until in two three years time when we have mobiles with iPhone capabilities outselling computer internet connections – that’s gonna change the world much more than the last five years,” he added.

Stephen Miron, CEO of Global Publishing, also raised a future challenge for Apple. 

“I worry for Apple,” he said at the AOP summit. “We’re at an interesting phase now where kids will think that the ‘cool’ device that their parents own is something that mums and dads have – and that’s not cool.”

Miron said Apple’s “beautiful” devices may no longer appeal to the younger generation in 10 years’ time.