Is Apple’s “closure” an original sin?


Following Saudi Aramco, Apple has become the world’s second listed company with a market value of over US$2 trillion.

It’s just that Apple has no time to enjoy and celebrate this glorious moment, because the revolutionary product it has created, the App Store, is becoming a “reactionary under attack.” The controversy and wars it has caused are getting more and more heated .

In the beginning, only antitrust groups filed a lawsuit on behalf of some users in the courts. After that, many developers gradually clashed with Apple, and even technology giants such as Microsoft and Facebook began to express their dissatisfaction with the App Store.

Faced with these complaints, Apple didn’t panic at all, just complaining about it, and could not take any practical actions. After all, no one can do without Apple now.

But recently, the gaming tycoon Epic Games directly declared war on Apple, adding a “direct charge” function to its game “Fortnite”, trying to bypass Apple’s payment channels and avoid the App Store 30% rake.

Such an operation is equivalent to dropping an atomic bomb in the core territory of the App Store. Apple certainly won’t sit still, and directly removed “Fortnite” and threatened to block the Unreal game engine developed by Epic. The two companies quickly brought the dispute to court, which brought the “hegemony” brought about by Apple’s “closure”. Whether it is reasonable, mentioned the point where the law must be judged.

Thirteen years ago, when Jobs announced that the App Store was raking 30%, the developers in the audience saw a kind of liberation, because at that time, the pre-installation rake of mobile phone operators was 50% and 70%. very common. At that time, the developers’ heartfelt cheers were still in their ears. Why did Apple become a “predator, dictator, tyrant” image?

In fact, looking back at the history of iPhone and App Store, the closed genes have long been rooted. If “closing” is a mistake, is this the original sin that the iPhone has been carrying since its birth?

Users don’t care about closure, they only care about experience

Many people don’t remember. In fact, when the first generation iPhone came out in 2007 , it did not support any third-party apps .

Although people are complaining that the new iPhone is becoming more and more “boring”, the huge users who remain in the iOS ecosystem have become the cornerstone of Apple’s growth, giving Apple a continuous card to play and turning limited resources into sustainable fission. the value of.

So why are there more and more rebels in the Apple ecosystem?

Thirteen years ago, the release of the App Store was an important measure for Apple to liberate the productivity of developers. The 30% commission mechanism was fairer than pre-installed by operators. The closed system and the control of on-shelf audits are not only conducive to the promotion of Apple’s application ecology. Positive development can also help outstanding developers gain substantial growth in traffic and revenue.

But the business world has never talked about “grateful culture”, but about “advancedness” and “advancing with the times.”

First of all, although Apple’s closed system has not been subverted, it has not been able to dominate the world. Even when the increase in the mobile Internet market is slowing down, Apple has not given developers greater “hope.”

Limited growth on a huge market base is acceptable to Apple, but when a generation of developers cannot find enough incremental markets and new growth mechanisms, when the next generation of developers cannot find a breakthrough in the development of the previous generation The method of history accumulation. The pressure in this ecology will increase.

Over the years, Apple’s rigor in MR (mixed reality), wearables, cars, TVs, smart homes, and many other fields is not wrong, but this rigor also prevents its huge developer ecosystem from obtaining the resources of the “New World”, of course. Not many developers can really make money from it.

Therefore, this ecology will definitely “involve” and will bring more and more discordant voices to the Apple ecology. Some people want freedom, some want growth, some want opportunities, and what Apple wants is stability and “rules.” .

The more powerful a business organization is, the more it needs to have continuous “scalability”, otherwise it will be involuntary and will break the original stability. Apple, with a market value of $2 trillion, controls the world’s most powerful ecosystem and user base, but this is also increasing pressure.

To solve this problem, Apple may really need the “stars and seas”, and it needs to return to the position where it was hailed 12 years ago to revolutionize and liberate something.

“Enclosure” is not an original sin in the business world, but big companies’ “not advancing with the times” of the business ecology, or even “not making progress” towards the new level of human society’s science and technology, will often be liquidated in the end.


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