Musings from the mobile field: Apple’s Controlling Nature

Let me transition into this post by providing some light context. At my internship at Mobility PR, I find myself writing blog posts for the company (you can read them here – I have written all posts, stopping at the March Madness post). I am finding myself reading more and more about the industry and starting to form some of my own conclusions. This post is just that, a conclusion in regards to the mobile industry. Enjoy.

Analyzing the ups and downs of Apple’s product control; with the AppStore and the impact on the mobile market. What does this mean for competitors?

The downside:

Apple can reject any app that applies for the AppStore. Surely you remember the 2009 Google versus Apple debacle, where Apple rejected the Google Voice app from entering the AppStore, and Google took the whole affair public. In the end the FCC got dragged into the messy matter and Apple admitted the Google Voice app into the AppStore.

The AppStore takes 30 days to approve an app. From an app producing company’s stand point, if you wish to create an app for an event, the 30 day approval period can mean missing getting an application in the AppStore in time.

Apple mobile products don’t support flash. This results in some websites being inaccessible (or having missing elements) for Apple mobile device users.

Now let’s flip the coin. What is the upside to the controlling nature of Apple?

The upside:

While this possessive nature would have many running for the hills if this were an actual relationship, Apple’s control can come in quite handy. With an Android you can download apps from the browser or the Android app store. However, with this app freedom comes viruses and anti-virus apps. That’s right. Viruses are a larger problem not only for PCs than for Macs but for Androids more so than iPhones as well.

With product control comes quality control. And in the case of Apple & Google the U.S. government prevailed with the intervention of the FCC.

While Apple devices do not support flash, some websites use HTML 5 to avoid this compatibility issue. Other companies create apps as a solution to re-doing their entire website. With the Apple mobile market having a substantial market share, companies are forced pay attention to this compatibility issue.

Competitors:

For competitors Apple’s controlling nature (combined with a past exclusive relationship with AT&T) has allowed for Android to take the larger share of the market place. Sprint will benefit from the Google-Apple intimacy issues, with the first phone integrated with Google Voice being offered this coming spring, announced during CTIA Wireless 2011.

Why Apple lovers stay loyal:

Apple’s unique business strategy is that Apple software compliments Apple hardware. This exclusive relationship means that every Apple product is optimized to run more smoothly, more efficiently and effectively, without freezing, without crashing, because the software and hardware are made for each other. Apple could sell their software to other manufacturers and arguably gain a larger market share, but Apple does not wish to reduce their products’ synergistic results. The differing market strategies can be illustrated by: Oh you have a droid, what kind do you have? Versus What version of the iPhone do you have?

In business, competition is healthy and ultimately drives innovation and competitive pricing. So no matter what your preference may be (Apple versus Andriod) the ongoing battle between the two is beneficial for all – well all smart phone and tablet users at least.

Jessi

Advertisements