Apple’s ‘walled garden’ is grounded in old fashioned product superiority

“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.


  1. Touché!!! This is the most sensible and accurate summation of what ‘Apple Inc.’ is about and why its millions of high end consumers remain so staunchly supportive of the companys products. Samsung, Google, Microsoft et al are all doomed to feeding the ‘bottom dwellers and ignorati’ ad nauseum as it has never been in their DNA to think and to act otherwise.

  2. In today’s dumbed down virtual world a life cycle is over before it’s actually debuted… That’s how come something fresh, new, groundbreaking and developing can be termed “old fashioned” in it’s infancy.


    Not anywhere as absurd as this reality.

  3. “Lock-in” for me is what I give when I get the reliability I’ve had with Apple. The H-P 41CX calculator is the only other electronic item I hold in as high esteem. I destroyed several by using them in the machine shop getting them covered with cutting fluids and metal chips, but even then they lasted for many (4-5) years.

    I can’t tell you how many “stereo systems”, “Sony Walkman”, TV remotes, flashlights and other items I’ve thrown away when they failed.

    Customers know reliability, because people react viscerally to throwing away something they spent good money on, knowing that the product should have lasted longer. Crap laptop manufacturers haven’t figured this out yet, but their customers have.

  4. I love our garden. It’s a digital data fantasy-turned-reality. It’s amazing that the anti-Apple media get any traction at all. We get superior products, superior service, superior security, we don’t have to sell our digital souls in exchange for some discounted junk. We pay a little bit more, and it is SO WORTH IT!

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