“The value attributed to ecosystem ‘lock in,’ such as the value Apple derives through tightly integrating its devices with its proprietary AirPlay, and the iTunes and App Store platforms, for example, is overstated both by industry analysts and by Apple’s competition,” Brian S. Hall writes for TechPinions. “Counter-intuitively, I believe this is a win for Apple, as its competitors focus their efforts on a false equation. Even if switching costs were reduced to zero, few would leave Apple’s ‘’walled garden.'”
“Users have clearly invested a great deal in Apple-backed apps, content and accessories,” Hall writes. “I am just not convinced, however, that their intent — or effect — is to appreciably increase user “switching costs”. The real switching costs are more elusive to define but of far greater value. Competitors, such as Amazon and Google, appear convinced that app freebies, lower-priced music, below-cost streaming video and near-zero margin hardware will enable them to snare current and potential Apple customers away, hopefully forever. This is a strategy that I believe is doomed to failure.”
Hall writes, “The fundamental difference between Apple and its competitors lies not at the margins but in the totality of sterling hardware, comprehensive and ongoing support, usability assurances, unequaled product integration and unmatched reliability. To effectively compete with Apple, companies must tackle all of these. Be forewarned: these are costly, take years to achieve, demand a relentless focus and are hard to sustain.”
Much more in the full article – recommended – here.