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Apple is my 1st choice

They are in the news a lot right now – and not always for the right reasons

picture of author with Apple Watch

Once upon a time, Apple used to make the headlines for their products and latest releases, but sadly times have changed. Apple now seems to be in the news more for legal rancours than they do for their innovation.

OK – for us tech followers we know that new iPads are probably just around the corner and that crumb of news has got us pretty pepped up, but for those not as involved in the gadget rumours Apple will have been brought to their attention recently for all the wrong reasons.

I’ve not been afraid to write about their sullen bullying tactics but equally today I feel I want to step up to the plate and bat for them.

The most recent attack has been from The DOJ, along with 16 state and district attorneys general who have accused Apple of operating an illegal monopoly in the smartphone market.

Apple is also being asked to defend their position over disrupting Super-Apps, blocking cloud-streaming apps, suppressing the quality of messaging between the iPhone and competing platforms such as Android, limiting the functionality of third-party smartwatches and restricting the use of other digital wallets on their phones.

But at the core of this case is the government’s belief that Apple has created a monopoly in developing the ecosystem that they’ve built up over the years.

The case to defend Apple

I find it interesting that Apple is being accused of creating a restrictive environment one which the government believes is leaning towards being a monopoly.

Now, I am no legal eagle but I always believed that a monopoly was when there was no choice – when only one option is available. That being the case, then how can this situation possibly be a monopoly?

Other phones are out there – hell, last year I tried Android but I came back to Apple and iPhone out of choice. There was no gun to my head. I tried Android, and liked bits of it, but came back to iPhone because it suited me better.

If anything Apple should be accused of being smart, sassy and a good few steps ahead of the competition. I’ve long held the opinion that Apple is possibly smarter than we give them credit for.

What we are using today I firmly believe was probably first muted and outlined years ago. It can be no coincidence the way that everything ends up neatly coming together. In recent times just look at Spatial Audio – that was innocently announced as part of iOS 14 in 2021 and yet its end game we now know was always the Vision Pro.

Mistakes like that don’t happen by chance – they happen because of meticulous planning and having an eye on the end game. In short, it happens because you’re the best.

Choices

I have choices – you have choices. Yet there is a pretty good chance that if you’re reading this you’ve also chosen to stick with Apple.

The iPhone is the bit of kit I probably use the least each day, but is at the very centre of what keeps me coming back. I use an iPhone which impacts the other gadgets and gizmos that I decide to go with it – that I chose and decided…

Apple created AirPods – which just happen to be the best-selling brand of headphones globally. Do you remember the heat they felt when they removed the 3.5mm headphone jack from iPhones? Yet they were certain that we’d adapt to this new cable-free Bluetooth future – and boy, haven’t they been proven right?

Apple are the one who spent millions of dollars in R&D developing AirPods so isn’t it fair that they should also be the ones who benefit the most from their success?

Why would a company – a company that is there to make a profit decide to benefit the competition? If I was in their position I’d make sure that all the full-fat features of my headphones worked best or only on the phone that I had also developed.

Super easy pairing, auto-switching and all the other benefits that come with using AirPods with an iPhone should surely be accepted – and applauded. Why as a commercial entity would I want to gift those benefits to my competitors? They are equally in a position to tie in their customers to their brand as Apple is – it’s just Apple is better at it. They had more foresight and got ahead of the curve.

Defending the ecosystem

The same applies to the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch is the best-selling watch in the world – not smartwatch, but watch full-stop! It sells so well because it’s the best at what it does. Sure for divers and serious runners, there are other choices out there for them, but for the average Joe, the Apple Watch ticks all the boxes. It delivers on what it sets out to and again works best with the device it was intended to be paired with.

If you like your Samsung Ultra or Google Pixel Pro then you have made that choice – find a watch that fits into your ecosystem – why should Apple be expected to water down their experience to pander to your needs?

Other companies are following Apple’s lead now – Samsung has tablets, earbuds, a watch and soon a ring as well. Google has their ecosystem in place too – the fact that those may not work quite as well or quite as seamlessly is not the fault of Apple is it? Tablets, earbuds and smartwatches only became a thing because of Apple.

Yeah, I chose an iPhone for a host of reasons. It integrates brilliantly with my HomePods and Apple TV. Being able to use my iPhone as a remote control for the TV box is genius – just genius and one of the benefits you get for making the choice to use an iPhone.

And if you use Apple TV – and have chosen to spend the extra money on that set-top box then I am totally at ease that it pairs best with an iPhone and Apple Music. They are the choices I have made.

Catching up

Other companies attempted to make a reliable digital wallet payment system but none nailed it as well as Apple.

iMessage is often cited as the gateway app – the one that pulls youngsters to an iPhone in the first place – but again, it was Apple that decided to create a message service that could share hi-res video and pictures between their devices – a free service at that. You could choose to stay with SMS or buy an iPhone and tap into iMessage – your choice.

Should Apple be chastised for being innovative? If we didn’t like what they developed and brought to market we wouldn’t be buying it. It’s that simple.

Is Apple moaning that Netflix and YouTube haven’t yet come on board with making apps available for the Vision Pro? Nope – they know it’s on them to make the Vision Pro such a great experience that they will eventually want to be a part of it – and they will…

So while other companies run to catch up, Apple just keeps innovating and getting better at what they do. I’m not wet behind the ears – I understand that it is all very clever marketing which subliminally will keep both you and me tied to them – but I’ve made that choice with eyes wide open.

You have the choice

While Apple has not been seen in the most fragrant of lights in the way they’ve behaved recently with the EU – to some extent I can understand it.

They must get pretty narked at constantly having to defend themselves. In regards to the EU and side loading – they built the App Store ground up before anyone else had thought about it. Of course, they knew it had the potential to make them a shed load of money – but they were the ones that had the balls to build it in the first place.

It could have fallen flat on its face – but as it happens they read the market spot on and gave us what we needed and as importantly when we wanted it.

It’s that innovation that has made them what they are today. Yes it pays for big companies to be kept in check and to not create monopolies that deprive us of choice, but equally, they should not be punished for delivering innovation.

To do that will end up taking choices away from us. It seems to me that Apple is currently being pursued and hounded for being too good.

Am I biased – yes, of course, we all are, but equally I like to think I’ve been around long enough to see the wood for the trees. Brand leaders ought to be applauded not derided – they drive the market forward – and create wealth through taxes and employment as part of the journey. And we eventually benefit through having better choices and products. Is it not the case that the others should up their game rather than ask Apple to dumb down theirs?

Have you noticed there is one repetitive word and theme through this story – and that is choice…

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