Business Ecosystems: Why you love your iPhone

Jae Allain

 

When someone posts on Facebook “Getting a new phone, iPhone vs. Galaxy looking for advice,” do you feel compelled to respond? Will you dramatically defend your response of iPhone? How far will you take the argument?

I saw a post shared on Facebook in April which said that roommates in Tulsa got so involved with the iPhone over Galaxy debate that they took the fight to the physical level. Stabbing one another landing both of them in the hospital (you can find the short article on this site http://www.theverge.com/).

Regardless of if that really happened or not, how crazy is the idea that a phone debate could invoke that much of a passionate response. It is just a phone right?

Have you ever wondered why some people are so Apple-centric? You know the type they have the iPhone, the MacBook and the iPad; they don’t own a Windows product and if you mention an android device in their presence they are likely to scoff at you. I get it, MacBooks are awesome. They are fast and super resilient but I still own a surface and sometimes choose to use it over my iPad. Now, don’t misquote me I really do love my iPhone and the thought of getting a Galaxy is laughable, but why?

Honestly the iPhone doesn’t have the greatest camera; it doesn’t have an SD slot, and not all apps are made for IOS. So why am I devoted to my iPhone? For the record I am one of those diehards who will argue for the iPhone over the Galaxy but I know why I feel that way.

I read an article in Forbes last summer that really summed up the reason behind those feelings for me. It stated the Apple was neither a hardware nor a software company but rather a business ecosystem. (You can check out the article here http://onforb.es/1x10Zk2) The idea of a business ecosystem was introduced by James Moore and was published in the May/June 1993 edition of the Harvard Business Review. It stated that a business ecosystem was, “An economic community supported by a foundation of interacting organizations and individuals—the organisms of the business world. The economic community produces goods and services of value to customers, who are themselves members of the ecosystem. The member organisms also include suppliers, lead producers, competitors, and other stakeholders. Over time, they coevolve their capabilities and roles, and tend to align themselves with the directions set by one or more central companies.”

Doesn’t that seem to define Apple? A business ecosystem: you get an iPhone, you get on ITunes, you save your stuff in iCloud. You get an iPad and can simply access your ITunes library and retrieve your photos with minimal effort. The simplicity and syncing between devices is super appealing. My almost seventy-year old grandmother struggled learning how to check her email on her PC but now with her iPad and iPhone she is a digital queen. She threw out the laptop and is now downloading apps and music, syncing between devices like a champ. If you ask Nana, which Phone to choose she will say iPhone.

Apple draws you in with the ease of use and you stay because you get sucked into the ecosystem. You are buying iTunes music because it is easy and intuitive. When people ask you about your iPhone you want to brag about it. When your band releases a new CD you are going to release it in iTunes. Apple does a great job of getting you hooked on their products and getting you to buy into the ecosystem. Once you have bought in its hard for others to convince you to get out (Galaxy, sorry not for me). Good thing Apple is selling hardware and software and not drugs or we would all be hooked.

Jae Allain was a member of the Information Technology Senior Seminar last spring semester and is planning on a career in Technical Training. 

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