Editorials

With iPhone Sales Dwindling, What’s the Next Big Thing for Apple?

Future of Apple

From the very beginning, Apple has maintained an air of exclusivity, luxury, and indifference. Reflecting the aura of its charismatic founder Steve Jobs, Apple has charmed many with its imagination, design, and innovation. So great is the charisma of the brand that it’s not just loved by its customers; it’s adored, worshipped, and fan boy-ed!

But the same can’t be said for its partner companies. In fact, Apple is amongst those who don’t play well with others. Remember the grudging agreement between Motorola and Apple and the resultant ill-fated ROKR phone?

Don’t remember? Can’t blame you!

Apple has been more than happy to stay in its small, yet elite, circle of fanboys and devotees. But hey, that’s all in the past! Apple’s finally getting off its high horse and giving up that ‘Mean Girl’ attitude. Wondering why?

One word – Services.

The Future Lies in Services

The services-centric future has pushed Apple to evolve and play nice with other bigwigs. Don’t believe us?  Here’s proof!

Apparently, Apple seems to be relaxing strictures on some of its technology platforms, all with the intent of making it easier for other companies to work with the brand. Bodes well for Apple’s future because without their services on third-party platforms, they’d be limiting their reach. So you might see some interesting partnerships in the coming months.

AirPlay

During the recent Consumer Electronics Show, Apple revealed its partnership with a bunch of TV Manufacturers like Sony, Samsung (‘Sup arch rival!), and Vizo. This partnership will introduce AirPlay2 into the TV market.

Shocked? Here’s another shocker! For the first time in history, non-apple owners will be blessed with access to iTunes video content from a non-Apple device. (Gasp! Sends up a thousand thanks to heaven.)

Why the change of heart, you wonder?

Well, you can thank Apple’s upcoming video streaming feature and the fact that not everybody will be willing to shell out $180 for an Apple TV. We know this move is characteristically unlike Apple, but they probably figured that it was better to lose their exclusivity than lose revenue-generating customers. As for the customers, they get to avail this service and watch new shows on various platforms without any restrictions. The future seems promising!

HomeKit

Since the inception of HomeKit, Apple has been trying to sell it as a means to (finally) bring together your stack of awful-but-slightly-useful IoT gadgets to turn your living space into a smart home. HomeKit then evolved with the addition of the Home app, which gives you a central place on your iPhone to control everything in your house.

Unfortunately, that’s where most of HomeKit’s pleasantries ended. Initially, it seemed to be a promising framework that would take over the smart home sector. However, it’s been anything but, and we know why!

For HomeKit to be used for more than just Apple TV and HomePod, it needed to onboard other smart home devices. And that requires partnering with other brands, especially when you’re competing with the industry bigwigs like Amazon and Google. This motivated Apple to (finally) let go of it’s expensive and unnecessary hardware authentication requirement on devices and giving third-party developers the license to create HomeKit Compatible devices.

Apple Music

Arriving years after its fellow music streaming apps, Apple Music had a lot of ground to cover, being this late to the game. But then Apple surprised us all by creating an Apple Music app for its main competitor, Android.

Unexpected? Yes! But getting on Android gave Apple Music the best fighting chance to uproot its adversaries. This move marked the beginning of Apple dipping its toes in waters outside its own pond. Carrying forward this adventurous spirit, Apple recently added Apple Music to Amazon Echo.

The Takeaway

All of these moves help make Apple’s ecosystem more immersive and compatible not only for third-party developers but also, ultimately, for consumers. Competition in the tech world – be it smart home devices, mobile phones, or wireless tech – has become more fierce, and Apple’s traditional “one man army” mentality ain’t a winning formula.

It’s about time Apple accepted cold hard facts! The mighty Apple can’t do everything on its own, and a good relationship with third parties will, in the end, only help them win over more customers. And with technology becoming more and more distributed, it behoves Apple to provide attractive frameworks for third parties to integrate with and amazing services to please us with.

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