After wrapping up Tuesday’s panel on the future of mobile with Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley and Facebook’s Chris Cox, Google’s Vice-President of Engineering Vic Gundotra joined us backstage for a brief video interview. We discussed the development of location based services, the challenge of penetrating developing markets, Google TV and of course, Google’s little tiff with Apple.
I pressed him on his Apple “jabs” at this month’s Google I/O, which was well documented by this site and several others. Amusingly, he said his jokes and comments were not “necessarily jabs at Apple,” but rather a way to outline the companies’ distinctions and “done in a spirit of good fun.” It was certainly a lot of fun but come on Vic— you can call it a “jab,” a “swipe,” a “dig,” a “poke” (a delicious dessert treat?) and no matter how you dress it, Google was making clear, well articulated criticisms against Apple.
So what does he think Apple will do? I asked him whether he thinks Apple will eventually try to become more open after receiving a fair share of criticism from developers. After acknowledging that he could not predict Apple’s next move, he did say that he expects Apple to “adjust to market dynamics.” You’ll have to watch his body language n the video below to read more into his words.
Beyond the Apple fun, Gundotra made several interesting comments that could point to Google future direction:
-location will be integrated in virtually everything that we do
-LBS market will naturally segment
-potential of a super hyper local and event driven LBS (i.e. if you’re at an airport, your phone could tell you what gate you’re at, or if you’re at a venue, your phone will tell you about the event, nearby events)
-The challenge of serving emerging markets where the dominant computing device is the mobile phone and it is not a smartphone but a more limited device. He predicts smartphone prices could drop dramatically in the next few years.
-Google is looking closely at the tablet market, they are doing some interesting work in this space. More announcements to come.