Sticky system is Apple's unique selling point

Posted on by Mike Evans

Following on from my last post, in which I emphasised my current satisfaction with the Apple ecosystem, I am convinced that Apple's overall umbrella is the company's finest USP. As outlined in this article in Apple Insider, Apple's system is like sticky flypaper: It is becoming more and more difficult to justify breaking free. We can become seduced by the features of rival devices, in particular larger-screened smartphones, but contemplating breaking the happy inter-device relationships soon puts an end to the heresy.

Over the past few months several friends have announced that their next phone would be a bigger-screen Samsung or, even, a Windows Phone. But the first flush of enthusiasm is tempered by the potential difficulties of synchronisation with Macs and iPads. And then comes the calculation of how much has been invested in iOS applications. I reckon I have spent over £500 on applications, including some pricey programs such as TomTom and OmniFocus. All these, even if available for Android or Windows Phone, would have to be bought again.

We have reached a stage where the ecosystem is arguably more important than the individual device. Apple's system is indeed similar to sticky flypaper. This isn't a criticism, but a recognition of the extent to which we have become dependent on background services to keep us in sync and to increase our productivity.

Apple's sticky system has the profound advantage of being unobtrusive, easy to set up and reliable. Millions of computer agnostic consumers have been attracted to Apple simply because the system works out of the box. It is reliable and (to a large extent) more secure and free of intrusion than is the case with rival systems. It is ideal for the average user.

Complacency is the only threat to Apple's eco-dominance. I do not detect any sign of that so far and I have confidence that Apple and its system will be updated to compete on level terms with the competition.

Anyone tempted to an alternative Smartphone or tablet should make a list of the pros and cons. Almost certainly, sticking with Apple and its system will be the logical conclusion.

by Mike Evans, 6 May 2013

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