Handicapping the Apple vs. Google Race in Mobile Apps

Greg Yardley Flurry
Greg Yardley Flurry

Apple's (AAPL) iPhone is definitely the hottest thing on the mobile handset block, but Google (GOOG) is clearly taking a run at Steve Jobs & Co. Greg Yardley, a vice president at mobile analytics firm Flurry, stopped by DailyFinance's office this week to talk about the mobile market.

At present, Yardley says, Apple rules this roost -- at least when it comes to applications. However, Google is pushing its Android mobile operating system aggressively to take advantage of the explosion in smartphones, which remains a very nascent market.

For now, Yardley views the iPhone and Android platforms as complementary, but given Android's growth, the two tech giants could be headed for a showdown.

"I wouldn't call [Android] a threat [to Apple] as much as I would call it a complement," Yardley says. "The Android ecosystem is an order of magnitude smaller. But because Android can be put on any device, it's growing, and it's growing rapidly. So it wouldn't surprise me if it caught up."

Since an aggressive push by Verizon Wireless (VZ) last fall, Android has gone from a near standing start to almost 10% market share. But Apple isn't just sitting around as Google's offering gains popularity. Two weeks ago, Apple launched its iAd platform -- a system designed to help software developers generate ad revenue from their applications.

When it comes to mobile applications and advertising, it's still very early, and the market has tons of room to grow. While a full-scale mobile war between Google and Apple may not yet be here, there's little doubt these two tech titans are on a collision course.