Why Apple’s competitors can’t win

Apple’s competitors cannot really compete because the Cupertino Colossus’ success isn’t just about one product, it’s about how Apple products work together, in one grand ecosystem that’s virtually impossible to replicate.

Apple logo

Only Apple is capable of creating such an ecosystem because only Apple designs its own hardware, software, and services. Apple processors inside Apple devices power Apple operating systems that provide the best or, in many cases, the only access to Apple services.

Using your iPhone or iPad to scan documents or take a picture of something nearby and have it appear instantly on your Mac, copying text on your Mac and pasting it on your iPhone or iPad (or vice versa), automatically unlocking your Mac when you’re wearing your Apple Watch, using your iPhone as a webcam for your Mac, starting work on one device, then switching to another nearby device and picking up where you left off – these are just a few examples of how Apple’s ecosystem of products work together seamlessly.

The barriers to entry for any competitor, be it a Chinese knockoff peddler, an online advertising company masquerading as a search engine, or a South Korean dishwasher maker, are so steep as to be unsurmountable.

Apple’s success as a company today is less about one product and more about how the ecosystem drives everything from accessories to services revenue.

In this video, The Motley Fool‘s Travis Hoium highlights the numbers:

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  1. True. Apple introduces a revolutionary NEW core product, then incrementally improves that product over years and decades. The competition hastily copies that Apple product, and their attempts may eventually be fine as stand-alone items. But they can’t replicate Apple’s user experience and customer satisfaction. It goes back to Zune. Microsoft wanted their own iPod, but they had to replicate the iTunes app and the iTunes Music Store when Zune launched. Apple launched iPod as a side project for Mac users only. They improved iPod (and iTunes app) each year. With the 4th gen iPod, Apple made iPod/iTunes fully compatible with Windows AND opened the iTunes Music Store, the starting point of Apple’s ecosystem. Zune failed in large part because no existing ecosystem. Apple’s current competition try to “out-spec” Apple or use gimmicky features Apple doesn’t want. Meanwhile, Apple steadily improves their hardware products and services, and occasionally introduces their next revolutionary product that fits neatly into that unbeatable ecosystem.

    1. HAHA, well said and true!! Unfortunately, the truth you state is lost on too many people. Younger folk have no idea about what you’re referring to. Others just don’t care, proven by their willfulness to choose inferior products.

      If Apple would develop their software (like pages, keynote) and market them ( FaceTime vs Zoom) maybe more people would experience the truth of which you write.

      Hopefully, Apple will one day again have a CEO that is one of the “crazy ones.”

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