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  • (ethereal music)

  • - Welcome to Apple's walled garden,

  • where the company's hardware and software

  • and services have formed these very high walls around you

  • so you can never leave.

  • If you own an iPhone and at least one other Apple gadget,

  • you live here with me, in this metaphorical walled garden,

  • which for journalistic purposes brought us

  • to this real walled garden.

  • In tech, a walled garden is a closed ecosystem of products

  • and with antitrust scrutiny

  • and the Epic versus Apple lawsuit,

  • lately you hear a lot about Apple's-

  • - [Reporter] Walled garden.

  • Walled garden.

  • Walled garden!

  • - [Jennifer] To lock in users to its walled garden.

  • So how did Apple's walls get so high?

  • And is it even a bad thing

  • that it's difficult to climb out

  • and explore products from other companies

  • like Google, Samsung, and Microsoft?

  • When did these walls get so high?

  • Come take a garden tour with me.

  • I'm gonna help you understand.

  • This real walled garden, here in Yonkers, New York,

  • has many different areas, just like Apple's.

  • Let's start here at the entrance with your Apple hardware.

  • Without it, you can't enter the garden.

  • No, these sections are not to scale,

  • definitely not according to Apple revenue.

  • Your journey into the garden likely started with an iPhone.

  • Then you bought an Apple Watch or AirPods

  • because they worked so well with the iPhone.

  • And maybe you also have an iPad or MacBook.

  • And now you're here forever.

  • Many companies like Samsung and Google

  • have families of products too,

  • but what makes Apple stronger is its full control

  • of the next part of the garden.

  • This big section here is Apple's software.

  • That means iOS, MacOS, and WatchOS, and iPadOS.

  • All of these have Apple-only features

  • that tie them together to work better together.

  • They don't work with Android phones or Windows computers.

  • The list is long, but let's look at a few.

  • There's iCloud.

  • This syncs all your photos, documents,

  • notes, et cetera across devices.

  • There's AirDrop.

  • This makes it easy to share a file

  • from one Apple device to another.

  • There's AirPlay.

  • This makes it easier to play music or video,

  • say Apple TV+'s own "Ted Lasso",

  • from an Apple device on another Apple device.

  • There's the underlying continuity.

  • This lets you hand off a web page, email,

  • or another activity quickly

  • from your iPhone on another Apple device.

  • And then there's the ultimate one, iMessage.

  • Apple's messaging system lets you send and receive messages

  • and stickers and games and money, but only on Apple devices

  • and to people with Apple devices.

  • It's the ultimate blue bubble wall.

  • The final big area of the garden, Apple services.

  • In this first services area,

  • you have everything from Apple TV+,

  • what's a computer, to Apple Music to Apple Fitness+

  • Pushups, here they are, everyone.

  • With most of these, you have to pay more

  • in the form of monthly subscriptions.

  • Good thing I'm in this garden by myself.

  • And Apple often uses its power over the platform

  • to persuade you.

  • For instance, this perpetual pop-up in my settings menu.

  • Some of these services are available

  • for other gardens, like Android or Windows,

  • but the experience is always better on an Apple device.

  • And then there's one very big service here, the App Store.

  • Think of it as a large pool inside a walled garden.

  • The iOS App Store is the only app store allowed

  • on iPhones and iPads.

  • There are lots of apps in the pool, but Apple's the fish,

  • eating 15% to 30% of paid app revenue

  • and even digital in-app purchases.

  • Oh, that one's eating 30% of that app revenue right there.

  • This has been at the heart of complaints

  • from other tech companies, like in the Epic Games lawsuit.

  • Zoom out to see the whole map

  • and it's quite the business lesson.

  • Every part keeps you with Apple

  • and spending more money with Apple.

  • The first third is what gets you in.

  • The second, where it gets you to start using

  • and buying even more from section one.

  • The third, you buy more stuff,

  • except it's digital stuff on your devices.

  • Study that if you want to build

  • the next $2 trillion company.

  • So you can see as the garden grows,

  • the walls grow higher and higher,

  • so it's even harder to get out of here.

  • But is it really all that bad?

  • It's called a walled garden

  • because the stuff inside is very pretty and works great,

  • so you may not even want a peek over the wall

  • to see what Samsung or Microsoft or Google has

  • on the other side.

  • And Apple argues that many of its walls

  • protect user privacy and security.

  • Specifically, it says it's walled App Store

  • keeps out malware and other bad actors.

  • The not-so-great stuff starts to show

  • when you try to bring a competitor into the garden,

  • (ominous distorted wind whooshing)

  • (whispers) Android.

  • say switching to a Windows laptop or an Android phone.

  • The serenity of the garden can be disrupted.

  • Since there's no iMessage for Android, for instance,

  • you can suddenly miss out on contacts or even groups.

  • In fact, in an internal email surfaced

  • in the Epic versus Apple trial, an Apple executive said,

  • "iMessage on Android would simply serve

  • "to remove an obstacle

  • "to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones."

  • Hey, if Apple's garden is so good,

  • why does it need these walls to keep us in?

  • There's also the argument that it stifles innovation.

  • If Apple keeps making its own versions of products,

  • do we miss out on new ideas and innovations?

  • And when it comes to the App Store swimming pool,

  • developers argue Apple is unfairly abusing its power

  • to charge developers more.

  • While the legal battles about this garden will play out

  • in anti-trust suits and more over the next few years,

  • there are a few ways Apple users can poke little holes

  • in Apple's garden walls.

  • If there's a good alternative to an Apple service,

  • like Spotify for Apple Music, give it a real chance.

  • You shouldn't just choose to use services

  • because they're right there on our devices.

  • Then if you pay for a subscription through the App Store,

  • find out what the app charges on its own website

  • for the same service.

  • You could get a surprise discount.

  • Also, Apple has over the years allowed you

  • to change your default web browser or email app.

  • So, no, you might not even want to climb out

  • or dig out, but the breaking a few holes in the walls

  • might let a little more sunshine in.

  • Hey Tim, just iMessage on Android and Windows.

  • Think about it.

  • Just think about it.

(ethereal music)

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How Apple’s iPhone and Apps Trap You in a Walled Garden | WSJ

  • 33 3
    joey joey に公開 2021 年 06 月 05 日
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