Apple have always positioned themselves as ‘different’, but as they continue the inexorable transformation into a services company, what counts as ‘different’ seems to be a lot less clear.
This week, I came across several interesting articles, each highlighting a different element of this ongoing transition.
We all know that privacy has become one of Apple’s favorite narratives.
This means it’s no surprise that Limit Ad Tracking adoption is far higher on iOS than on Android; it’s a core part of Apple’s value prop, whereas Google really just offers the option for good optics.
Apple is also bringing more things in-house.
This isn’t new — Apple has always been a closed ecosystem, and like most big companies, they do acquisitions all the time. But the scope seems to be getting wider. Weather tracking (or TV) is not a core competency of Apple. It isn’t really an area where they have an obvious way to add unique value.
Moves like this one indicate that they have the luxury of controlling the end-to-end for an increasing number of things, and they’re essentially saying ‘why not?’
On the flip side, to continue funding this world of ‘why not’, Apple needs new revenue streams.
Apple Search Ads have been a runaway success over the last few years. However, Apple’s previous foray into mobile advertising, iAd, never got anywhere close.
With this new expansion, it seems Apple may be taking tiny steps back in that direction again. Some of the main issues last time around stemmed from Apple’s unwillingness to play nicely with third-party standards — perhaps this more selective approach will help them avoid those issues on the second attempt.
The ‘App Store Tax’ is written in stone...except, apparently, when it isn’t.
Amazon has managed to escape the walled garden, and this article is a very deep exploration of what this looks like in practice. Two thoughts:
- This is really complicated. I wonder how many dev hours it takes Amazon just to maintain all the different payment flows, vampirically sucking away time from other work.
- These standards seem very subjective on Apple’s part. The qualification criteria for this program includes implementing a whole lot of OS integration features. What happens when Apple wants to enforce adoption of another iOS feature in future?