Google is ready to release the much-anticipated Google Glass, wearable computers that can connect to the Internet using your mobile phone or Wi-Fi, in 2014. With these glasses you can take pictures and HD720P video and use Google services such as Gmail, Google+ and Google Maps. The device uses Google’s Android operating system and is only technological advance that the conglomerate has accomplished which brings it one step further into dominating the web.
Google’s Android Strategy
Google allows developers to use its Android OS for free, which is something that Apple doesn’t allow. As a result, Android dominates the global market. For example, Apple has a 20 percent global smartphone market while Android has approximately 70 percent. Google’s reason for letting developers use the Android OS for free is to promote use of Google’s services. Apple’s only goal with the iOS is to promote the purchase of more devices. You’re more likely to use Gmail, the Google search engine, and Google+ if you’re smartphone uses the Android OS. Google’s goal is to monetize there web services through ad sales after more people start using the services. Google will also be able to collect data about your web use habits and will be able to use that information to sell ads targeted towards certain consumers.
People using Google Glass will more likely be using Google’s web services regularly. In fact, in the promotional video, you can see four services being used by the device, Google’s search engine, Google Maps, Google Now and Google Hangouts. This will be a convenience thing for most people, because even if they prefer a different search engine, they will keep the Google search engine since it’s the default on Google Glass.
Domination of Social Networking
With this same concept, Google could eventually challenge Facebook and Skype’s current social networking dominance when more people start using Google Glass. Google Glass users will use Hangout video chat directly with friends while Google is able to see what the user is looking at. Hangout is a feature found on Google+, so it could eventually lead to more people using Google+ as their primary social network, which would leave to a significant dent in Facebook’s market share.
Currently, Facebook dominates the market, with over 700 million users in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the Global Web Index. In comparison, Google+ only had 300 million. Facebook users didn’t have a reason to switch to Google+, but Google Glass will change that.
Challenging Apple’s iPhone
At present, the Android OS is looked at as a poor man’s alternative to the iPhone. However, Google Glass has the potential to change that concept as a Google app that will allow users to control their Glass device through their smartphone, MyGlass will be available to users. Currently, you can only find this app at the Android app store. If Google doesn’t make this app available through Apple’s app store, it would create a significant blow to the iPhone.
Pre-early users who will serve as beta testers for the Glass device are already enrolled in Google’s Glass Explorer program and they paid $1,500 for the ability to test it. With such a price tag the market for this device is affluent with a lot of disposable income. This is Apple’s target market. If the Android phone is the only way iPhone users can get the most out of their Glass device, it could lead to them switching to the Android phone.
It’s too early to tell how successful Glass will be. However, if it does become successful, it will be the glue Google needed to dominate the web services worldwide.