Apple’s huge OS licensing opportunity

“Apple may have a huge and hidden opportunity to drive proliferation across all its platforms by licensing some of its connected operating systems, though doing so goes against its usual way of doing business,” Jonny Evans writes for Apple Must.

“If we define Apple’s core products as Macs, iPads and iPhones, then it makes little sense for the company to license its operating systems. Not only do they give its products a unique selling position, because they are better designed and work better than anything else, but these cash cows also contribute a great deal of revenue to the company coffers,” Evans writes. “However, Apple is also developing its services income. That means its app stores, online services, Apple Music, messaging and a range of associated service-based solutions, each of which contribute a few more dollars to its bottom line.”

“Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has told us the company built Apple Music for Android as a way to find out more about the opposing platform. A feasibility study in service provision – and why not – get people hooked on the services and the iPhone, iPad and Mac sales will soon follow,” Evans writes. “As in future will Apple Watch and Apple TV. Each of which have their own OS, watchOS and tvOS. Why shouldn’t Apple license those non-core operating systems?”

“We already know Apple is looking at expanding services provision into other platforms – Apple Music for Android is a good example of this, and has been installed 5-10 million times,” Evans writes. “The benefits to doing so: it would gain sales, addict more non-core platform users to its services, and, step-by-step, gain a chance to woo customers across to iPad, iPhone and Mac. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Perhaps if Apple could retain the right to approve the hardware – a sort of Made For watchOS/Made For tvOS sort of program – so they could exclude cheaply-made products (think poorly-made digital crowns that fail) that would damage the brand. But, now, after thinking about that: It’s a can of worms.

Of course, doing things like bringing Apple Pay personal payments to iMessage and offering Messages for Android do make sense (but even that seemingly simple move comes with the big condition that security can somehow be dealt with properly on the fragmented Android platform).


  1. “Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has told us the company built Apple Music for Android as a way to find out more about the opposing platform”

    No, he built it to make more money for Apple Services. Otherwise, he could care less about Android.

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