Apple’s greatest innovation: It’s the ecosystem, stupid

“Apple can’t innovate anymore, say the critics. A chorus of complaints so common that it received a remarkable “Can’t innovate anymore, my ass” response from Apple’s Phil Schiller,” Thomas Ricker writes for The Verge. “But that was three years ago, before the launch of quasi-controversial products like the Apple Watch, the single-USB-port MacBook, that chubby iPhone battery case, and some awkwardly charging peripherals. The complaints have grown louder and more insistent ever since.”

“The unspoken subtext is that Apple, post-Steve Jobs, is incapable of producing another Mac, iPod, iPhone, or iPad moment,” Ricker writes. “Yes, iteration is boring. But it’s also how Apple does business, quite successfully I might add… a single device judged in a vacuum isn’t meaningful to most people anymore. We may long for the excitement of revolution, but what we really want is the comfort that comes with harmony.”

“In 2016 a device is only the starting point of an experience that will ultimately be ruled by the ecosystem in which it was spawned,” Ricker writes. “And Apple’s steady evolution of services like iCloud and Apple Music, and cross-platform software features like AirDrop, Handoff, Find Friends, Universal Clipboard, and Auto Unlock mean iPhones are at their best when used with other Apple gear like MacBooks. I’d argue that Apple’s ecosystem is the company’s greatest innovation yet…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on June 14th: “We are armed with Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs and nobody lacking such a lineup can come even remotely close to our day-to-day capabilities. We are more efficient and we can accomplish much more than non-Apple device sufferers because our devices are infinitely more integrated. No other platform or ecosystem can compare.”

It’s the ecosystem, stupid: Why Apple’s latest OS’s complete each other – July 1, 2016
macOS Sierra: Apple’s gateway drug – June 22, 2016
A week with macOS Sierra – June 22, 2016
The new ways Apple’s macOS Sierra works with your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch – June 22, 2016


    1. This is the truth right here. All they know is “Android is open” and they can, legitimately, put MP3s on their phones easier. And that’s where the “benefits” end.

      Even where they boast in specs, they can’t boast in bechmarks of said specs. The Fandroid is the tech anomaly. Specs with shitty benchmarks, excuses for why they have less AND shittier software, and all of a sudden, it’s ok to not worry about security and OS patches.

  1. Ecosystem is absolutely 100% essential when you are using an iPad, iPhone and often multiple Macs, plus Windows apps.

    There is simply no other ecosystem able to do it all. Yup, not all people need to “do it all.”

    Steve Jobs’ vision was over a decade ahead of any other CEO in the industry in understanding how seamless information needs to be.

  2. A neighbour of mine explained at a New Year party that Samsung has a much wider ecosystem than Apple because he owned a phone, laptop, fridge and TV all made by Samsung.

    Just nine months later, it’s only the TV that’s still working. The fridge packed up and they lost a load of frozen food. He wasn’t amused when I pointed out that his fridge has stopped freezing, but his laptop keeps freezing. The phone stopped working when they went on a touring holiday and they had to urgently buy a replacement, which bizarrely was another Samsung.

    I offered to lend him my seven year old iPhone 3GS, along with one of my three Apple laptops that are between ten and twenty years old ( oldest being PowerBook 1400 bought in 1996 ) and are all still in perfect working order, but he declined.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story. I feel sure many more of us have had comparable experiences with the braggadocios of our families. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Myself, I get sidelong glances at family gatherings, because they are loath to admit I told them so. They also resent that I don’t proffer advice about Android devices, except to ditch them.

  3. Wall Street sees iOS as a dying ecosystem. Wall Street certainly doesn’t see Apple’s ecosystem as innovation. Nothing Apple does is ever remotely considered as innovation because Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs. Something is definitely wrong with a company when a product is considered a failure before it’s announced and Apple is getting a reputation for just that.

    Android OS is absolutely crushing iOS in terms of user numbers. Investors positively hate anything that constantly loses market share. Apple will never convince Wall Street iOS is better than Android OS and Apple’s value will continue to decline. Google is already being seen as a far more powerful company than Apple due to Google’s overwhelming market share in everything it pursues. It’s only a matter of time before Alphabet passes Apple in market value because Tim Cook is a weakling compared to other tech company CEOs.

    1. Jesus of Nazareth was a weakling and the Roman Empire, going along with Jewish traditionalists, crucified him.

      There are different sorts of wrong. Wrong is you slandering Apple for its indifference to Wall Street when it has always been indifferent to it. Wrong is you attacking Apple for operating without your personal investments in mind. Don’t take my advice; take the advice of every blinking MDN reader who doesn’t want to hear about it any more, and sell your AAPL shares.

  4. ” Something is definitely wrong with a company when a product is considered a failure before it’s announced”

    The problem there is not with Apple, but with those people who imagine that a product that they have not seen is going to be a failure, while disregarding Apple’s stellar track record.

    There has never ever been a single iPhone released that wasn’t widely predicted to be a failure and yet every iPhone has gone on to be a massive success, selling in huge numbers and generating profits that other companies can only dream of.

    It seems incredible that there are still people prepared to listen to those naysayers when they’ve been proved to be so spectacularly wrong for a decade – or even longer if you include what the same people said about iPods and Macs.

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