Is the Apple Ecosystem an Irresistible trap to consumers?

Have you ever asked someone why do they use the iPhone?

Hey  Joy, which phone do you use?

Joy:   iPhone 11 Bro, I love this phone and its hard to get out of the ecosystem.

Hey Paul, wassup, which smartphone do you use?

Paul: Off course iPhone  (iPhone10 ), I can’t live without iMessage.

It is very apparent that Apple is a brand of choice for many customers in the world. In the UK almost half of the smartphones used are iPhone which is significantly higher than the next popular brand  Samsung which is at around 30%.

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So what is that which makes Apple smartphones so special? Is it the facial recognition or the screen or some other thing?

Even though these features where once the stand out features for Apple, currently  there are better products out in the market. This is where the concept of an ecosystem comes into play.

Ecosystem: What’s is this Ecosystem all about?

The ecosystem is defined as a biological community of interacting organisms.  But in tech terms it’s a group of devices and software which works smoothly and seamlessly between each other.

So how does a company benefit from the Ecosystem?

Creating a tech ecosystem helps the company to draw the consumers to purchase more products that work seamlessly between each other, in the majority of the cases that would be from the same company.

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Many tech manufacturers have created their ecosystems, but only  Apple has mastered it.

Apple makes tons of devices like iPhone, Mac, iPad, Apple Watch,Apple TV, Airpods, and home pods. They also have some exquisite and proprietary software suites like  Airplay, Airdrop, iMessage, FaceTime, and iCloud. which ties these hardware’s to interact with each other seamlessly.

Once they can draw you into their ecosystem lets say an iPhone for example which most people buy as their first device and then they can lure you to buy other Apple products because those products work so seamlessly with each other.

As mentioned above Most companies have the ecosystem, Its not that the apple is the only one doing that, but what makes it unique apart from how it works seamlessly is how they have built up a wall around their products.

The Apple ecosystem is like a walled garden. It means everything in this garden is very good and very green and perfect, but the walls around this garden are so tall that they don’t want you to climb the wall to experience the outside world.

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Basically if you buy 1 or 2 apple devices you are into an ecosystem. Let’s say you have bought an iPhone and a Mac book. They make it as easy as possible. where you will start using iMessage,  you will start receiving a text on your iPhone and you can reply to it from your mac book.

You are browsing the web on your phone and you switch on your computer and bingo you can start browsing in your computer from where you left off.

iCloud drive You are working on your computer and saved your file in iCloud and you can access the same on your phone and start from where you left off.

Airdrop: peer to peer sharing is legendary.

Tethering: makes sure your mac book is connected to the internet always.

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You want to make a video call you have the face time which you can answer in either device.

You can ask Siri to remind you of something and it will save in the reminders app and you will get a reminder notification in all of your devices.

You are in the market looking for a smartwatch. We don’t have many good options in the market we buy an Apple Watch, Now you can answer the call and reply to messages in the watch and you can still ask Siri to set a reminder and it gets stored in the reminders app.

Again you are in the market looking for smart speakers you don’t have many options you will buy Homepods.

Currently wireless ear pods are becoming a trend what else you will buy obliviously the trendsetter Airpods.

Apart from the fact that all these devices work seamlessly with each other. It also acts as little hooks to keep you in the ecosystem, so they can extract more information from you and keep you using and buying more and more apple products as long as possible.

The best way to make you use those products is by making the products as good as possible to keep you within the ecosystem.

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This explains the existence of so many apple products, from outside it looks dumb. 

 Why does someone buy a home pod which only uses Siri only works with apple music and only connects to apple products and doesn’t connect to any other Bluetooth devices and you can store your playlist only in iCloud? Because the guy who uses this home pod has an iPhone has an iCloud account which sounds kind of perfect.

So what about leaving this ecosystem?

In Apple’s case everything is pretty much tied to the iCloud account and if you want to get out of it, you need to rip the information out of your iCloud and import it into the new service.

The more closely tied your device to iCloud, the more hooks it has into other parts of the ecosystem which makes it harder to take out.

Accessories like AirPods for example pairs seamlessly with your iPhone iPad and mac books because of W1 chips used in all these devices, But if you wanna switch its just a hook although you will have some hiccups you can get away with AirPods.

Let’s say if you are an Apple Music user and want to switch to Spotify, again it’s like one hook but good luck trying to migrate your music library from apple music to Spotify.

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If you want to switch from iPhone to other phones lets say android then it becomes even more difficult as it has a lot of hooks to it.

  • All your app purchases have gone
  • Your Air pods become useless
  • Your home pod becomes useless
  • You can’t use the same reminders apps anymore
  • Apple Watch becomes a paperweight
  • iMessage and face time will be gone.

So iPhone which shepherds the people into the walled garden becomes so hard to leave that even if other companies launch a phone with a better screen, camera, performance, and better features they will skip it because they are tied to the  ECOSYSTEM.

Also as we said there are other ecosystems too, like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Adobe, and Samsung’s each of them are some way complete than others. And if you have noticed All the players are expanding their ecosystem one or the other way.

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4 years ago we never thought about smart appliances and home automation. Like amazon bought Ring doorbells. Now, this has become an integral part of one company’s ecosystem, Everyone is either developing home automation systems / Smart appliances or buying the existing smaller companies.

Every tech company is trying to expand its ecosystem as much as they can, some are building big walls, some smaller, and some are keeping it as open as possible. Google is one of the best examples for that.  you want google photos, Gmail and google assistant you can get it any platform. Things like this are interesting to see but if we try to evaluate apple which has closed walls from very long is what it makes a weird case study.

Personally, I don’t use the iPhone, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t see why lots of other people do. On the Mac side, however the operating system has become so second in nature it is hard to leave. 

Despite being very highly polished software, each time I use windows I used to be quickly irritated by things laid out in a way that is difficult to find. But now I am used to it.

However, I don’t use face time, iMessage, or own any AirPods, which means any future switch could be achieved with less hassle than someone who is far deeper into the ecosystem.

The Apple ecosystem has graduated from an idea to define the buying habits of millions of consumers. We can also say Apple has become successful in exploiting people’s strong desire for convivence, this move has significantly contributed to their position as a Trillion-dollar technology company.

What do you think, Is it better to get isolated to one ecosystem?  Or is it better to have to look over the wall and see and experience the other platforms before its too late?

Kindly share your opinions in the comments below

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4 thoughts

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