Tech Industry

Google exec: It's 'irresponsible' of Apple to make everything expensive

Technically Incorrect: In an interview, Google's product head, Sundar Pichai, replies to Tim Cook's criticism of Android.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Sundar Pichai, wearing a reasonably priced sweater. Google/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Prada should be ashamed of itself.

Those people at Tesla should take a look in the mirror. And as for the rotten, rapacious individuals who make Cristal, they should be appalled. Especially since half of their product always seems to get poured over someone in a club.

No, these aren't my thoughts. I'm merely channeling, in a terribly loose way, the mind of Sundar Pichai, Google's head of product.

In an interview with Forbes, he was asked to respond to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who seems to enjoy poking a large elbow into Android's rib cage.

Pichai explained how very different Google's Android mobile operating system was from Apple's iOS offering. He said: "Users use our services by choice. These are very loved products. We have many, many products that have more than 1 billion users. They provide a lot of value. And we provide many of these services for free."

Of course, providing a service for free doesn't mean you don't profit from it in myriad ways. But still, Pichai wanted to underline that there's something creepily elitist about Apple.

He said: "It's a bit irresponsible to say everything should be many hundreds of dollars [as most Apple products are]."

I hadn't been aware that corporations somehow operated on the principle of responsibility. Some, if not many, give the impression that their task is merely to make as much money as possible, which is something Apple does quite well.

Pichai, though, seems to be echoing the recent thoughts of Motorola President Rick Osterloh. Osterloh was responding to hardly veiled criticism of his company's belief in customization. This criticism has come from Apple's design head Jony Ive. Ive didn't mention Motorola by name, but he described its concept as "abdicating your responsibility as a designer."

Osterloh's response was to complain that Apple charged "outrageous prices."

Surely, though, Pichai and Oseterloh are aiming their disdain at the wrong target. They really should be criticizing you. It's your fault.

By you, I mean all you people who pay these allegedly outrageous and irresponsible prices for Apple products.

You are being allegedly seduced either by design or simplicity or merely the need to use the same products as people whom you aspire to be like.

It's you who are upsetting these executives. How could you?