Have you ever asked somebody why they use an iPhone? The response will be linked to the “Apple ecosystem”.
There are tails all over the Internet about this ecosystem in Tech reviews and all kinds of iPhone videos and even regular everyday conversations. if you ask somebody why they use an iPhone, it more or less comes down to the same answer. sometimes it is just because it’s the best all-around phone and they believe the hardware is superior but often like really often, the answer has something to do with the Apple ecosystem.
An ecosystem is a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment. So in tech, an ecosystem is just a community of interacting objects. Apple makes a ton a device’s, the iPhone, the iPad, the Mac, the Apple Watch, the Apple TV, the home pod, air pods. But they also make a lot of software and protected the technology that ties them all together. Airplay, airdrop, continuity, iCloud. so once they can draw you into the Apple ecosystem somewhere with one of their devices, that’s an iPhone for example, then they can lure you to spend more money on other Apple products.
Most companies have successful products but what makes this particularly unique Apple ecosystem successful, maybe the most successful Ecosystem ever, is not only how well they work together but the walls they’ve built up around. Living inside this Apple ecosystem is like a walled garden. Meaning everything that’s in the garden is as a luscious garden as everything. Everything you could ever want, but these walls on the outside are really tall and they kind of don’t want you trying to climb out or trying to explore beyond those walls.
Once you get a couple of Apple devices, you start to get into the Apple ecosystem. Imagine you get an iPhone and a Macbook, just those two things. Then it makes it easy as possible. You start using iMessage, you start getting text messages on your phone and then I can reply to them on your computer. Your Web browsing on your phone, then you sit down at your computer and it shows up free to pick up exactly where you left off. airdrop, peer to peer sharing, legendary. There is tethering so the Mac book always has the iPhone’s Internet wherever you go. You want to make a video call, FaceTime is right there, you can answer it on either device. You ask Siri to remind you for something, it’ll put it in the reminders.
So now you’re in the market for a smartwatch, You just get Apple watch. What other options are there? You can answer, text on your watch, answer calls on your watch, FaceTime is still there. You ask Siri to set reminders on the watch, it’ll put them in their reminders app. Everything works together so beautifully.
So now you are in the market for a smart speaker. A new market, with a couple of options out there. Seems like it makes perfect sense to just go with the Apple one. Wireless headphones are gaining steam. You’re in the market for some wireless earbuds, air pods are right there. All these services and products are designed to be as good as possible but they’re also designed to be these little hooks to keep you in the Apple ecosystem. To keep you giving them information and to keep you buying more Apple products as long as possible. The way to keep you using those products is to make those products as good as possible within the ecosystem. This explains the existence of so many Apple products that almost surface or from the outside from behind those walls can seem kind of limited or pointless or dumb especially in new markets where there are just the beginnings of competition.
For example, why does the homepod exist in 2018 as a smart speaker that only uses Siri, only uses Apple music, does not connect to Bluetooth, does not connect to anything that’s not an iPhone, does not have a headphone jack? For that guy who uses Apple music and has an iCloud account and has an iPhone, it’s kind of perfect.
Everything is virtually tied to your iCloud account and if you want to get out of Apple Ecosystem, you have to rip that information out of your iCloud and import it into any new service. This is much easier said than done. Accessories like the air pods, for example, work perfectly with things like your iPhone and your iPad or Mac but because the W1 chip they pair effortlessly. If you want to switch to another pair of headphones, it’s just that one hook in and you can move to another pair of wireless headphones and get away with it. Now if you use Apple music and want to switch to Spotify because it’s clearly better, good luck trying to switch your entire library between the platforms.
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Trying to leave the iPhone to go to another phone, that’s not in the Apple ecosystem is tough. There’s a lot of hooks in that because all of your app purchases are gone, FaceTime is gone, your air pods become useless, your home pod becomes useless, you can’t use the reminders app anymore, your Apple Watch becomes a paperweight, and imessages are gone and then the iPhone, the Holy Grail for shepherding people into this garden is so hard to leave that a new phone could come along with a better screen, no notch, a better camera, better battery life, a headphone Jack and they’d still skip it because that ecosystem is kind of incredible.
There are other ecosystems too, there is googles, amazons, Samsung’s, and more. There are some more complete than others and just generally unnoticed ecosystems from everyone are expanding and evolving. Two years ago, you didn’t really need smart appliances in your ecosystem as a Tech company.
Not far ago, Amazon bought ring for a billion dollars to get ahead on smart video doorbell. That’s the kind of world we’re now living in with all these companies building up their ecosystems some with little walls, some with huge walls, some are just as open as possible.
The Apple Ecosystem will always grow just as more revenue is needed by the company just as the tech.