Apple is a hardware company. That’s where the money comes from. Whether you count revenue or profits, Apple makes its money from hardware– iPhone, Mac, iPad, Watch, etc. For Apple, hardware is where the money is. Wait. What about Services?
Services is Apple’s fastest growing group and is larger than Mac and iPad combined. But nearly everything that makes up Services is based upon, therefore, dependent upon, hardware.
Hardware is where the money is. Each of Apple’s major products, Services notwithstanding, is a platform that allows almost anyone to play. Yet, Apple does not play the same way on competing platforms.
That is a two-edged sword.
Here are some examples. Google, Facebook, Adobe, Amazon, and Microsoft have plenty of applications on Apple’s various platforms with dozens of applications between them. How many apps does Apple have on Google’s Android platform or Microsoft’s Windows?
Good question, right?
The answer is obvious. Not many. Android has Apple Music. Windows has iTunes. For the most part, Apple prefers to play on its own hardware and only ventures elsewhere if there is enough money and for Apple Music and iTunes, well, there is enough money from a couple of billion non-Apple customers to make it worth their while to put apps on other platforms.
Could Apple publish other applications on Android or Windows? Yes. Should Apple publish, say, Pages, Numbers, Keynote on Android? Or, Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro X on Windows?
The sword that Apple uses to cut its own territory for hardware sales cannot be used as easily to bring revenue or attract users from other platforms. Most of Apple’s own applications are free– on macOS, iOS, tvOS, et al. What would be the benefit of having other Apple applications on Android and Windows?
None. Nada. Zilch. Zero.
Every now and again someone will say Apple needs to do this or Apple needs to do that. One common thought is Apple’s very popular and highly sticky Messages platform should run on Android.
Dumb idea. That’s what I concluded in my iPhone Messages On Android Is A Dumb Idea article.
Android users might like Messages but what’s the benefit to Apple? Some Android smartphone users might switch to iPhone because Messages is so great but already Android customers switch far more than the reverse, so, again, dumb idea.
The very sword that allows Apple to command high prices, high margins, and the most profit among hundreds of competitors– the company makes money on hardware– will not allow Apple to make money with software running on Android or Windows.
The exceptions are Apple Music and iTunes, both of which bring in substantial revenue and profits to established Services products.