As much as I love my life being immersed in modern technology, I also love the argumentation and debate season. Fortunately, the national political season is limited. Unfortunately, the debate against all things Apple never ends.
In argumentation and debate it is important to define terms. Facts are not always facts unless they’re agreed to by both sides of an argument, so getting to a common ground is an important element. Quick. Name the technology company with the best ecosystem. Google? Microsoft? Apple? If you named any one of the three obvious technology ecosystem giants, you would be wrong.
According. To. Whom?
Ah, there we go. That ever present need to define the terms. In technology parlance, what is an ecosystem?
A digital ecosystem is a distributed, adaptive, open socio-technical system with properties of self-organisation, scalability and sustainability inspired from natural ecosystems. Digital ecosystem models are informed by knowledge of natural ecosystems, especially for aspects related to competition and collaboration among diverse entities
Huh? Say what?
Google Apple ecosystem and you’ll find plenty of basic definitions which encompasses all of Apple’s products and services and how well they are integrated and work together; a user friendly environment with hardware, software, services, and support that bind a customer to the Apple way of using modern digital technology.
Who is better than Apple? Google? Google has plenty of free software but doesn’t really make hardware. And Google is in the advertising business first and foremost. How about Microsoft? That choice seems logical for an ecosystem, but Microsoft is mostly Windows and Office and the company’s presence in mobile devices is, for the most part, software only. Windows Phone sales are negligible.
If you write for ZDNet and your day job is to trump Donald Trump’s outrageous verbal shenanigans with combative, disagreeable, and highly suspect articles, then Samsung has a better ecosystem than Apple.
iPhone owners often tell me they continue to buy new iPhones because of the Apple “ecosystem”. That may have been true a few years ago, but if you are seeking innovation and an exciting spectrum of products that all work together, then you need to look to Samsung.
Starting with the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7, the giant smartphone with the world’s best display, down to the Samsung Gear S2 which has an integrated radio to Samsung Gear VR (virtual reality) to various and sundry devices from camera, to fitness tracker, to personal computers, ebook readers, refrigerators, washers, dryers, televisions, ranges, vacuum cleaners, microwaves, headphones, stereo systems, printers, displays, chips and dips, it’s obvious that Apple’s ecosystem pales in significance to a real ecosystem where the Korean conglomerate produces hundreds of products and they all use electricity, therefore, ipso facto, Voila! An ecosystem that is far superior to whatever Apple is doing.
So, instead of defining an ecosystem as simply a list of electronic products or a product list of devices that simply use electricity, let’s extend the consideration a bit to products and services that work well together within the framework of the digital lives for most of us. Personal computer, smartphone, tablet, cloud services, and, if you wish, smartwatch.
How does Samsung compare now? Since their smartphones mostly use Android OS, they have a lock on malware that Apple doesn’t have. Samsung’s PCs are mostly nowhere to be found but they run Windows or Chrome OS while Macs run everything. And then there’s the issue of quality. Samsung products are good, yes, and often best of breed, yet Apple’s products– where they compete head to head– tend to last longer and have much greater resale value. The ridiculously premised ZDNet article doesn’t say diddly squat about software (which is what we use on our hardware) and one can argue with ease that Mac apps and iPhone and iPad apps are superior to the offerings available for Android devices, and how Apple weaves them altogether into a unified ecosystem is next to none.
You get the idea here, right?
Just because a company designs, builds, and ships a hundred products that all use electricity, doesn’t mean their product ecosystem is comparable, especially when said ecosystem does not seem to include software.