Apple Wins With the Apple Ecosystem



Apple is the largest company in the world by value, worth $2.18 trillion. Although there are thousands of competitors, the company dominates the technology market and continues to see profit growth. In 2021, Apple made $365.8 billion in revenue – the largest profit year in its history, and the company is growing by over $20 billion in annual revenue on average. Apple’s products are some of the most expensive products on the market, and it is not due to their innovation because Apple has never invented anything. However, they remain dominant for one main reason—the Apple Ecosystem.


What Is An Ecosystem?


An ecosystem is a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment. While Apple products are not living, they constantly interact with ease, like an ecosystem. Many other companies and tech brands have their ecosystem, but Apple arguably has the most popular one.


Why Is Apple’s Ecosystem Successful?


Apple designs its products to work proficiently with each other, so they interact and make the consumer’s life easier. If you receive texts on your iPhone, you can receive and respond easily on your iPad and Mac computer.  If someone texts you through Android or you get a two-factor authentication code sent to your text, you will most likely only receive it through your phone. Apple’s seamless handoff design is particularly exceptional. If you are on FaceTime or reading something on your iPhone, you can open your laptop and iPad and continue using these services on a second device. Apple’s user interface is friendly to new tech users, and their products feel smooth and high quality.


Apple has one of the largest and strongest fan bases through its user-friendly products and ecosystem. Marques Brownlee, one of my favorite tech reviewers, calls Apple’s ecosystem a “walled garden”. The garden features all of Apple’s attractive products, with its walls keeping out all competitors. Apple makes consumers feel that its products are better than the competition. Apple attempts to prevent competing products from working well in the ecosystem, or at least looking like they work well, eliminating the need for its customers to look for alternatives to their products. Further, Apple copies all of their competitor’s products to ensure that consumers can meet most of their tech needs with Apple products, so they spend all of their money at Apple.


You may buy into this ecosystem when you get an iPhone and want to listen to music for workouts. Now, you are in the market for AirPods for wireless listening, Apple Watch for controlling your music and tracking your workouts, and Apple Music for listening to your music and controlling it through your iPhone and Apple Watch. Apple designs its products to urge you to buy more of its products.


Does Apple Have A Weakness?


Apple owns the tech market, but they continue to remove benefits and increase its prices. This greed factor may lead customers to look for alternatives. In recent years, Apple has made many greedy decisions to focus on profits over efficiency, the environment, and customers. One example is the 2016 Macbook lineup, which removed all of its ports for a few USB-3 ports. Apple’s decision left users with no choice but to pay for dongles—an adapter that adds costs and sticks out like a sore thumb. These products were expensive, easy to lose, breakable, and incredibly inefficient.


Apple designs its products to urge consumers to pay for its services. One example of Apple’s strategy is iCloud Storage. Most Apple users will constantly see the notification that they are running out of storage. The message should allow you to stop receiving it if you do not need the extra storage but it does not.


Apple will continually bother its users until they pay to upgrade. Apple makes a significant amount of money off of iCloud storage service fees because it supplied users with only five gigabytes of iCloud storage for almost a decade. Customers only receive five gigabytes of iCloud storage for their entire account, not with every device purchase. Also, with more and more data being stored, it would be expected that Apple would increase the amount of free iCloud data, but they have not done so.


I ran into a similar issue with FaceID. One morning I woke up and FaceID did not work on my iPhone. It told me to update the device or go to the Apple Store. FaceID was working fine the previous day but today it decided to stop working. I updated my device but it did not fix the problem. Recently, I went to the Apple Store and was told that I either needed to pay $170 for a repair or buy a new iPhone. FaceID works fine on some phones and stopped on mine. While I  have learned how to use my phone without needing FaceID, I continuously get messages to go get a new phone.


It is important to understand why Apple can pull us towards its products. Apple has some of the highest-quality products on the market, but it tries to make itself seem more affordable while trying to strip as much money out of our pockets as possible. The more we learn about what we buy and why it allows us to make better decisions with our finances and time.