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Google Waging Rhetorical War Against Apple

by Todd Haselton | July 24, 2013July 24, 2013 6:00 pm PDT

keep_calm_it_just_works

Google just wrapped up its Android 4.3, Nexus 7 and Chromecast press conference. All three topics were amusing, though our favorite announcement of the bunch was the $35 Chromecast dongle. If you missed it, though, there was a lot of rhetoric that we’ve heard before. From who? Apple.

Google used the roughly one hour long press conference to literally persuade the press and the audience that all of its products are “beautiful” and “simple,” two terms we’ve heard from Apple before. It’s valuable, too, since some consumers naturally gravitate toward Apple’s iOS environment because of its dead simple UI. Is Google going to use Apple’s old rhetoric as a way to attract a larger audience? It seems so.

I didn’t count, but it seemed like every other sentence employed another Apple-ism: “It just works.” Steve Jobs used to say this all of the time, implying that your devices will work right out of the box without painful setup or support. Go ahead, Google it – it’s the first result that comes up. The slogan has long worked for Apple, especially when it came to competing with other smartphone platforms, and even Windows, which can indeed be harder to use and don’t always “just work.” Ask anyone why they love their iPhone for example. The answer is almost a resounding “it just works.”

The best part? Saying it is free. And it can be an empty promise. Maybe it doesn’t work well, but if consumers believe it will then they might be more willing to give an otherwise seemingly complicated product a try.

Heck, I even jumped right into the Google Play store and ordered a Chromecast. Why? Because Google said it’s just going to work right out of the box. I’ll load up my iPhone or Android device, plug the Chromecast into the TV, sit on my couch, open a bag of chips and get to streaming. At least, that’s what I’m expecting to happen… because Google promised me so.

Sure, there will always be software and hardware wars. But Google and Apple are on to something here: telling consumers that products won’t require a messy setup is genius. You won’t have to call your friends. You won’t need to sit on the line with tech support trying to get something figured out. Instead you’ll just open your box and do nothing, because Google did it all for you behind the scenes.

Rhetoric is a powerful tool, and when it comes to tech and telling consumers that something will “just work,” that can be more valuable than anything else.

TechandSimple

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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