I’m going to put Apple and other technology giants on the therapist’s couch: To understand their motivations and actions, it’s helpful to examine their weaknesses.
I’m surprised this year that Apple hasn’t moved as far as most regulators and some app companies complain out loud about drawbacks About the app system that Apple created more than a decade ago. Essentially the complaint is that Apple abuses its control over iPhone apps to impose unreasonable fees and complications on app developers. same claim in one court case That Epic Games, the maker of the Fortnite video game, is pending against Apple.
Apple says it’s right to take control of apps and collect commissions for certain things we do on our phones. But there’s something else at work: fear.
Connecting the dots between Apple’s business conditions and its choices helps us understand why the company does it — and by extension how those actions affect everyone, whether we own an Apple device or not. Apple’s strategy hooked the world
Why should Apple be worried? It’s wildly successful and has so much cash in it that… well, corporate employees sit desk chairs Which can cost more than your sofa. or your car.
But the reality is that smartphone sales will probably never rise again, as it did in the 2010s that made Apple a superstar. Smartphones have become a necessity of modern life in many countries, like a refrigeratorBut every year the chances of buying a smartphone for the first time are less, and people are waiting longer to replace the phone they already have.
(I’ll admit that Apple Recently sold many more iPhones and other devices. We’ll see if this is permanent, or a pandemic-related blip.)
Many people tracking Apple and the company don’t think it’s a problem if Apple has a hard time selling more iPhones each year. Instead, the company has shifted its strategy to make the most money from the gadgets you have in your homes and pockets – in the form of app downloads, Apple Music, AirPods headphones and other Apple products or services attached to the company’s devices. In.
It’s a smart strategy that’s working pretty well, but it’s also borne out of necessity now that the peak smartphone era is over.
There’s also a long shadow over Apple’s need to become more than an iPhone company. For example, would Apple be more willing to rethink aspects of the App Store if it didn’t rely on generating money from sources other than iPhone sales? And how much is Apple’s strategy changing all the technology we use?
Vox writer Peter Kafka recently wrote that Facebook has decided start a newsletter what people read outside part of Facebook’s apps to avoid paying the fee that Apple demands from digital subscriptions sold inside its iPhone apps. The billions of people who use Facebook are influenced by Apple’s strategy to get more cash out of the app.
The companies also stated that They felt compelled to charge people money in their iPhone apps Due to Apple’s regulations. In short, those apps could be worse for users, due to Apple’s change in strategy.
It’s not unusual to have the world around us Shaped by companies’ business models and finances. And sometimes it works in our favor. Microsoft is offering Windows PC Users gain access to more types of apps Partly because it — unlike Apple — doesn’t require making money from app fees, and Microsoft wants to pat its nose at Apple.
We totally don’t like the gimmicks of big companies to make money. But I find it useful to examine the ways that our technology choices are not accidents, nor are they driven solely by what we want.
Before we leave …
Facebook’s victory in a potentially long war: A federal judge called a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit that wants to break up Facebook Too many essential facts were lacking to proceed. As Cecilia Kang reports, the judge asked the government to try to provide evidence that Facebook met the legal definition of a monopoly. dealbook has one opinion analysis From the judge, who also said that more than 40 states had waited too long to bring their own antitrust case.
related: There are all antitrust investigations and lawsuits against Big Tech companies great for lawyers, write Cecilia and David McCabe. An example: 51 lawyers from 21 law firms have appeared in court related to antitrust cases against Google.
Life is just fodder for online posts: Residents of a rural county in China dress up as old-fashioned farmers and fishermen To stage scenes from China bygone To be photographed and posted online for local and foreign tourists, writes my colleague Vivian Wang. The setups are elaborate, including burning straws to simulate mist.
Robot pets are meh, but also promising: “They may be sophisticated enough to be their own category – Not necessarily a live pet, but not a glorified toaster either,” says a writer for Gizmodo.
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