The ultimate convenience, or the greatest honey trap of all time? Peeking into iWorld: The Apple Ecosystem
Few companies have been able to assert dominance in technology as legendary as Apple. What was begun on the first day of April in 1976 would be far from a joke: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created a technological empire which would hit $1 Trillion in August of 2018. Take your time counting those zeroes, and while you’re at it, take a moment to think about how ubiquitous Apple products have become.
Macbooks, iDrop, iMessage, iPods, iPhones, iMacs, iHome, iRest my case. For its fans (nay, addicts) the Cupertino-based behemoth has strategically crafted a lifestyle of convenience and simplicity that has ignites envy in every tech company: The Apple Ecosystem.
Apples, Not Oranges (or Androids)
Wikipedia defines “Ecosystem” as a system of organisms living in conjunction with some non-living components of their surrounding environment and their interaction.
A technological ecosystem is similar: it’s a network of interactive, interrelated and often interdependent products and services that contribute to a larger system.
While Apple may get flak for supporting very few devices, having a rather small roster (compared to Android, for example) or even for being slow to innovate, the number one reason behind the brand’s wild success in customer retention is the seamlessness in interfacing multiple Apple devices.
Apple devices like AirPods seamlessly connect to iPhones with one tap. An iPhone can directly be used as a Wi-Fi network for a Macbook. AirDrop remains the fastest way to transfer data between iPhones and iPads. While you may make a case Android being able to the same, what tips the scales in Apple’s favor are its services.
Services like Apple Music, iMessage, Facetime, ApplePay, Calendars, and Photos are available across products like iPods, iPhones, iPads and iMacs. These services aren’t just optimized for their respective devices, they also seamlessly flow over to all the other devices on your ecosystem: the song you were listening to while jogging with your Apple Watch’s Music app will be ready to play at home on your Macbook with one tap. Don’t wanna be seen picking up your phone constantly to check your messages at work? No problem, iMessages appear on your Mac desktop. The appointment you made on your phone calendar for the Dentist’s using Facetime will show up on your iPad to make sure you don’t miss it. While you’re there, you can probably use Apple Pay to pay for that long-overdue root canal.
“Siri, remind me to talk about the Apple Card”.
Right after confirming the demise of a device that never met its ecosystem, Apple announced their foray into Finance Technology with their virtual/physical hybrid Apple Card. Working with Goldman Sachs, Apple has plans for using their ubiquitous appeal to break into the fintech market by offering ease of use, daily rewards, and a seriously sleek card to pack all that up.
But you can’t have your Apple Pie and eat it too. Being dependant on Apple products and services means it’s gonna be excruciatingly hard for you step out of their product lineup. Your Android phone or Windows Laptop will stick out like a sore thumb, which is the leading reason why thousands of Apple users refuse to buy into Androids despite some obvious benefits.
As a resident Android user and Apple cynic, I’ve often found myself telling people “Don’t fall for it, it’s a trap!”. It might take years for you to purchase all the elements of what makes this system worthwhile. But in the grand scheme of things, having an ecosystem of Apple devices within your friends and family might just be the ultimate convenience, “apple-y ever after.”