21 June 2021

6FPS by Chuq: “My Life in the Apple Ecosystem (and more)”

It’s an example of a bad trend I see out of Apple, a refusal to embrace and compete in existing market areas, but instead trying to use their existing ecosystem to force people into exclusive relationships with Apple. Almost as if they don’t feel they can compete and win, so instead they attempt use their 800 pound gorilla status in some area to force us into doing it their way in others. And often, this blows up in their face, and it may be blowing up in their face big time right now, but we’ll get to that shortly.

It’s an indication of an attitudinal shift in Apple I don’t like: it’s one thing to believe it can and should be the dominate player in a market, and when you turn out dominant products like the iPhone, you deserve to be. But increasingly, it seems Apple is shifting from “we can be the biggest player in this market” to “we don’t believe we should have any competitors in this market”. And that trend really worries me and makes me less supportive of Apple in general.

I used the word "arrogance" above to describe Apple’s attitude towards developers. In looking at the material released in the Epic trial from inside Apple, another word also seems to define Apple’s attitude: Entitlement.

Somewhere along the way, Apple convinced itself it’s entitled to take all of this revenue from all of the places it’s taking it.

This disappoints me greatly, but worse, there seems no self-awareness of the negative reputation side effects the combination of arrogance and entitlement will engender.

When I was doing developer relations things, I was always arguing that we needed to do what was needed to make developers WANT to work with us; Apple’s attitude is they have to, so why bother?

Chuq von Rospach

I am a bit reluctant to share this essay, as it is part of a newsletter, not published on a website, and another article I had linked to years ago has since disappeared from his site. But his observation about Apple’s changing attitudes towards competition and its relationship with developers are a worthwhile read, even if others have made similar remarks before.

Personally, I remain convinced that, despite recent dissatisfaction and public complaints, many Apple developers are so addicted to the company, so invested in its products and services, which they use and promote religiously, that they would never consider switching to competitors’ products. Consider the author above: after outlining Apple’s recent faults in attitude and software quality, his only reaction is of… disappointment. Despite criticism, this lack of concrete push-back enables Apple’s continued entitlement for the near future.

Post a Comment