Apple's (AAPL) reinvention started with the iPod but it was the iPhone that cemented the company's place at the top of the food chain in Silicon Valley. Since the iPhone was released on June 29th, 2007, Apple's stock is up 471%, making it the largest company in the world as measured by market capitalization.
Google (GOOG) has taken a different road, wrestling with a second act to couple with its dominant but aging position as the leader of all things search. The Android operating system may not drive Google's top line but it does give the company a foothold in the mobile/app ecosystem; the same business that Apple essentially created with iTunes.
With both stocks over $700 a share and the companies on a collision course Breakout asked Ironfire Capital founder Eric Jackson which company will emerge as the victor in the looming war for your consuming and investing dollars.
"Apple's already won to this point, hands down," says Jackson in the attached video. Stock price, cash hoard, mind share; whatever metric an investor wants to use Jackson says Apple holds a dominant lead. Ironically it was Google itself that helped give Apple the edge.
"Google's given them a run more than anyone else and sort of scared the bejeezus out of Apple; which I think is a good thing long term for Apple and Apple shareholders," he says.
To be more than the Washington Generals to Apple's Globetrotters, Google will need to expand from one great business into a great corporation; not at all unlike what Apple did in the late '90s when it stopped being just a Mac company.
Until Google can create an alternative app universe for Android users or crack the code on monetizing mobile search they're going to be living off an aging monopoly. It's not the end of the world, but becoming a search version of Microsoft (MSFT) isn't going to inspire shareholders.
If you're looking to buy either one today Jackson says the choice is easy.
"By 2015, I see Apple going to $1,650." he says. "This train is just getting out of the station." It's a projection that makes Jackson's Google price target of $880 in 6 to 12 months seem barely worth your while.
[Note: Jeff Macke owns shares of Google and Apple]