With few exceptions, humans are inveterate joiners. We attach ourselves to various and sundry organizations. We have politics and religion as a perfect example. Schools and neighborhoods come to mind.
Our circle of friends often have similarities which bind us together. For whatever reason, humans like to pit this against that, to segregate mine vs. yours, even while signing up or remaining within various circles of organizations.
What Price Ecosystem?
Look at how technology seems to collect and yet segregate customers at the same time. Mac vs. Windows. Apple vs. Microsoft. iPhone vs. Android. Best Buy vs. Apple Store. When you buy a product from Apple you’re entering into an implied relationship as a member of the company’s famous ecosystem; the walled garden of privacy and security, a place where technology gadgets work well together to help improve your life.
Well, at least, that’s how it is supposed to work. Sometimes Apple’s ecosystem becomes a 21st century version of The Twilight Zone. The opening narrations set the stage for those who unwittingly entered.
Season 1 – There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.
Apple’s ecosystem differs in that expectations often are set before arrival. Potential customers hear from friends, co-workers, or relatives how great their iPhone, Mac, or iPad work, and want something to replace the arcane and uncomfortable technology they already use.
Yes, there is a price tag for entry into Apple’s ecosystem, but look at all you get and how it compares to competition.
Season 2 – You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!
The very fact you can walk into an Apple Store and talk to a human being who does not try to sell you something, but instead is willing to help sets the Apple ecosystem apart from wherever else you can buy an Apple product.
Do you get that kind of service from Target? Best Buy? Cellphone company retail outlets?
You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!
Quite often you’ll hear how expensive Apple’s products are when compared to Windows PCs or Android-based smartphones. Most of such critics fail to understand the difference between price and cost. They are not the same. Things work differently in
The Twilight Zone Apple’s ecosystem.
For example, a new iPhone might be priced $300 more than something on sale from Samsung. Not to worry. Two years later the iPhone will be worth double the used Samsung Galaxy-whatever. Resale value is part of the ecosystem.
There is a reason why Apple’s customer base continues to grow. In general, Windows PC users that switch to the Mac never go back. Most Android smartphone owners who switch to iPhone never go back.
To paraphrase the KISS Principle, it’s the ecosystem, stupid.
You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension—a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.
There may have been a moment in the space time continuum where Apple personified the KISS Principle. Steve Jobs seemed to understand that design was not how a product looked, but how it worked.
KISS, a backronym for “keep it simple, stupid”, is a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore, simplicity should be a key goal in design, and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.
Yes, you can wander through any of earth’s deserts, but you do so with a greater degree of risk than members of Apple’s ecosystem. Of course, membership has its privileges, but it also has a price tag that is not at all unlike Hotel California.
“Relax,” said the night man
“We are programmed to receive,
You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave!”
What’s the price of living in Apple’s ecosystem? Loyalty and money. What do you get in return? Good products (usually) that work well together (mostly), and the understanding that life is worse elsewhere, and you’re better off if you never leave.