‘no longer the jewel of the ecosystem’

In 2010, Steve Jobs banned many apps, considered useless by apple, due to the absence of adding any value to users and diminishing the ecosystem. Jobs even declared that “it sounds like we’re control freaks, but that’s because we’re so committed to our users and want to make sure they have a quality experience with our products”

Anyone who has minimal knowledge of Jobs’ trajectory knows that appreciation for control and good products are central mottos that govern his professional trajectory. Trajectory eternalized in his second passage through the company (1996 – 2011) that he helped to found and that directly contributed to avoid its bankruptcy.

Apple’s landscape today is completely different. The company reaps the rewards of a wave of financial growth that seems to have no end, reaching this year the position of being the first corporation to reach the mark of US$ 3 trillion of market value.

The historic achievement contrasts with the position that the “Apple and its products are no longer the same”, in terms of influencing and reaffirming its commitment to its user base. This position is corroborated by those who were inside, and nowadays analyze it from the outside. Michael Gartenbergmarket analyst, and who held the position of Senior Marketing Director at Apple, sorry for reaching the conclusion that app store it is no longer the same. The analyst no longer sees the store as the “jewel” in the ecosystem of the Cupertino giant.

This devaluation of the ecosystem, in Gartenberg’s view, happens due to the quest to maximize Apple’s revenue. This line of business around maximizing revenue is more in focus than serving customers and helping app developers grow.

Gartenberg enumerates some points in relation to this point of view, but first it is necessary to apply here a concept that the analyst mentioned in one of your columns🇧🇷 non-replaceable infrastructure🇧🇷 “It’s something that holds users back so tightly that a competitor can’t get you to replace it””, explains Gartenberg.

O iphone, a product that revolutionized the history of Apple and mobile telephony, with iOS and the App Store, the crack that forms the ecosystem, is an example of a non-replaceable infrastructure. Although the market offers alternatives, in terms of products, dependence on an ecosystem makes switching difficult. Switching symbolizes an almost complete rearrangement in the way of operating day-to-day tasks, which are highly dependent on the devices that accompany us.

Of course, non-replaceable infrastructure is not immutable. Alterations in the market occur from time to time, in a cyclical effect, which can be enhanced by the directives of the companies that created a market standard, going against what a considerable and faithful user base has become accustomed to.

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The curator factor is seen by Gartenberg as one of the elements that turned the App Store into a disfigured place, leaving users bored. App recommendation has become less efficient. When looking for an app, the user is bombarded with ads for other apps. In certain situations, even products that are not related to the initial search.

In 2011, Steve Jobs prided himself on the lack of advertising being a prominent feature of Apple. “We make the products we want and we don’t want publicity. What would be Steve Jobs’s current reaction to Apple’s increase in advertising, which is still intrusive and unassertive?

As Gartenberg points out, Apple is becoming what they used to mock. Of course, the former Apple marketing director himself does not reject advertising. As an Apple shareholder, he understands the use of advertising as a way to increase revenue, after all, it’s a for-profit business.

But again, looking at the ecosystem from a longtime user perspective, Gartenberg laments that the time is over when the need for revenue doesn’t outweigh the need to serve Apple’s customers.

The real problem with Apple, from Garrenberg’s perspective, is that Apple no longer seems to be the only quality option for users. Hardware innovations or even unique applications can be found at other vendors. The big challenge faced by Apple’s competitors is no longer the technological factor, but Apple’s gigantic and efficient marketing machine.

A situation comparable to a market dispute in the apparel sector. A given store may even produce quality pieces, but the added value that a portion sees in the competitor, due to the good work of marketing and storytelling, is crucial in this dispute.

Garteberg’s line of thinking is in line with that of other companies, such as Epic Games, which has been fighting the way Apple handles its app store.

Epic reinforces that the totalitarian way in which Apple saw IBM in the 80s, in the computer market, is now being strictly followed by Apple in managing its app store. For the App Store, Apple charges 30% for companies with annual revenues greater than $1 million and 15% for companies with annual revenues less than $1 million.

This percentage began to bother a big name in the market, Elon Musk, who started a combative stance against Apple🇧🇷 The company has joined the list of companies that have stopped advertising on Twitter. List that also includes Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and other important players.

Losing Apple as an advertiser will deal a significant blow to Twitter. According to data obtained by the Washington Post, in the first quarter of 2022 alone, Apple spent about $48 million on sponsored tweets. These values ​​place Apple as the main advertiser of Twitter.

With this new tormentor to deal with, Apple may see yet another player try to threaten its non-replaceable infrastructure.

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