The key to Apple’s success: The walled garden

“At the very end of July, an event popped up on the horizon: Apple was set to become the first trillion-dollar company in U.S. history. Standard Oil, the Ford Motor Company, U.S. Steel — companies like these, integral to American commerce, had never approached the mark,” Casey Johnston writes for The Outline. “Instead, it would be a corporation responsible for profoundly reshaping the way Americans interact with each other, a development as meaningful as the discovery of oil or automobiles.”

“Apple’s valuation said more about the state of the economy and business, particularly since its valuation has fluctuated and receded since the company hit its peak value,” Johnston writes. “But I think it’s meaningful that Apple got there before the other four or five companies currently terrorizing American consumers.”

“What Apple has created — and the rest of these companies have not, despite their efforts — is the key to its success, though we hate to admit it: the walled garden. What’s funny is that for all of the flack Apple has taken for building its walled garden — criticism that lunged from chiding and superior (‘You’ll never achieve market dominance that way’) to enraged and condemning (‘What right do you have to prevent people from putting whatever apps and music they want on their phones?’ — it worked, and worked so well that Apple never even needed to achieve market dominance to become the nation’s most valuable company ever,” Johnston writes. “But the grand irony to the walled garden is that while it’s largely paid off, becoming such a large part of the world means Apple can no longer keep it out. It’s impossible to proactively manage anything that large, but app developers have become increasingly brazen about pulling tricks on Apple’s customers and, by extension, Apple itself.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Certainly Apple needs to do a better job policing bad actors in the App Store, but, when you consider the sheer size of the thing, they’ve actually done a pretty decent job overall.


  1. You know what else worked? Fascism!
    Unburdened by the weight of democracy, the trains ran on time and the world was brought to its knees.

    What ended it? On one hand, the world’s resolve, but never underestimate the facist’s hubris as leading to his downfall.

    1. You should learn your history. The trains did not run on time in Italy under Mussolini. The idea that fascism is an efficient system where things get done is a myth. You know where the trains do run on time? In Japan, a highly regulated democracy.

      1. Proof on Mussolini’s trains, or it’s BS.

        “Highly Regulated” is a subjective spectrum which can approach fascism, depending on the level of authoritarianism.

            1. If you are going to use fascism as a reference the onus is on you to be educated on the subject matter. Trolls who get caught being wrong ALWAYS deflect with the classic Provide a Source Or I’m Not Wrong move. Even if I provide a source your next move will be to say the source isn’t credible for some made up reason. Or if the source is credible then you’ll move the goalposts.

              I’ll help you out though. Go to and enter “Rear Window: Making Italy work: Did Mussolini really get the trains running on time?”

              This is an article with firsthand eyewitness accounts. That will get you started. However, anyone with even a small amount of education on political systems knows that the trains running on time in Italy was just propaganda. You see, propaganda is a big part of fascism. Do you need a source for that too?

              I’ll be interested to see what mental contortions you come up with next to prove you didn’t blindly parrot a myth without checking your facts first.

            2. Propaganda! You mean like aspirational advertising?

              And to say that racism can’t make people do what they otherwise might not is, at best missing he allegory. A sign of not understanding subtlety. So now what are going to see if the trains improved? Not the point, I just gave you the point.

            3. “So now what are going to see if the trains improved?”

              Moving the goalposts right on cue, albeit with poor English. What is really sad is you are so ignorant of the subject matter that you don’t even understand that how you moved the goalposts doesn’t help you.

              “And to say that racism can’t make people do what they otherwise might not is, at best missing he allegory”

              Ignoring your many typos, I never said any such thing. That’s another classic troll move, the straw man argument.

              I cannot in good conscience feed the troll. Goodbye.

            4. I corrected the racism word btw…….
              You on the other hand, remain a moron, unable to discern allegory. But if they did improve, even a little, I would be correct under your simpleton literal world view.

              A simple Google search would tell you it’s often said as an idiom:

              “In fact, there’s an old saying about Mussolini that goes something like this: “Mussolini made the trains run on time.” The idea is that even dictators have their good points. Despite fascism being an often brutal model of efficient government, full of poverty and corruption — hey, at least the trains ran on time ”


              As for pointing out my typos , I point out your vanity as to their relevance.

  2. Why not a walled farm then,
    If you’re not concerned about AAPL growth, it doesn’t matter. But Apple has Pro users waiting forever in their little garden, with obsolete equipment, when Amazon Android and Huawei’s P20 are set on world domination and Timmy cant get Magsafe right.

    Expand your creative pro applications, dominate schools, creative enterprise, maybe even some government applications. They have these things called yearly budgets.
    Pretty obvious.
    Apple has their fanbase, they better keep turning out hits.

    I don’t even feel the “ecosystem” as if Android doesn’t offer the very same garden for their customers. The walled garden is brand loyalty, and there are plenty of choices now. Amazon was a book store a few years ago, and now they dominate all, Would you even think about Apple to buy a book?

  3. I came to the garden alone
    while the bugs were still in the software.
    So I asked Siri, and she said to me
    that Apple doesn’t seem to care.

    Siri talks with me and she blogs with me
    And she tells me on my iPhone
    that the joy we share as a virtual pair
    none other has ever known.

    She speaks and the sound of her voice
    makes disaster warnings sound cheery.
    In my home or car she is never far,
    In happy times or dreary.

    Sir talks with me, etc.

  4. I thought walls were a bad thing?!? Immoral, a waste of money and don’t work. Not to mention that is not who we are as a people. Right Nancy and Schu.

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