Ronnie05's Blog

Does Apple need to change course its philosophy of exclusivity?

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on September 26, 2012

Apple’s map muddle may not have caused any dent in what is increasingly becoming the most successful smartphone of all times– iPhone5. However, it manages to put up a question – can Apple have all of the content cake and eat it too? Presently that is what Apple is setting itself out to do. Apple’s strategy of keeping all external influences out of the confines of its walled garden is beginning to hurt it simply because Apple cannot master all the tools and tricks in the business. The Maps showcased in iOS6 are not as good as Google and no matter what much Apple puts an effort in making it better in a hurry, Google has an edge that has been painstakingly built over the last 3-4 years. Apple’s spectacular success with devices naturally led to the temptation of a network-effects empire i.e controlling all the aspects of service, content and delivery. To such empires, maps are just too important as a way to gather information about users and hit them with ads and e-commerce opportunities. The good side of this is that where Apple can exercise proper control on great content, the experience is simply incredible. The flip to it is that, there will be slips and errors – especially in the content business, which Apple doesnot so much as own fully.

Apple for a while managed to tame the power of content and make it subservient, but that day is coming to an end. ( ex.Flash versus Apple). In such a world, Apple will have to change. To maintain its position, the company will have to focus more on giving its devices superb access to content it doesn’t control and hasn’t approved. Apples’ dogged and quixotic quest for control on the eco-system, my lead it to block more realistic and better solutions that emerge on the open Internet. There is leaf out of the book of Amazon that Apple could take a learning from (managing the eco-system).

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