Apple thinks exclusivity will help it prosper
It’s Apple’s world, and we’re all just living in it. You see, Apple’s a funny little company. It’s a trait that dates back to its origins, specifically with Steve Jobs. Jobs liked things to be just his, er I mean Apple’s way, and absolutely nothing else was acceptable. As it turns out the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and to this day, Apple’s tradition of exclusivity is as strong as ever. We saw a few examples of this at its announcement.
Starting off, Apple made arguably the biggest announcement of the day right out of the chute. Sure, we saw an update to the iPhone and the Apple Watch, but the thing that’s still resonating with a lot of people is the emergence of Mario in the app store. That’s right. Eet’s a-heem. A-Mario. It’s really hard to type that accent convincingly. Anyway.
Mario of “Super Brothers” fame is coming to iOS in the form of Mario Run, or as I like to call it “Flappy Mario”. Mario run is Nintendo’s first Mario adventure on a mobile platform, and it is coming exclusively to iOS for the time being. Mario will be running across the screen while a user taps to make him jump, collect coins, etc. It looks like a fun little title. But, Android fans, you’re out of luck.
Choose…but choose wisely
Apple went out of its way to point out that most developers these days have an either/or choice and most developers go with Apple. Apple’s App Store revenue is pretty huge, so that makes a lot of sense. But c’mon, Apple. Nintendo isn’t a small company. This isn’t a little startup working out of a garage in Nowhere, Montana. Nintendo is big enough that it could manage to staff a developer or three to work on an Android app. Nintendo got paid, plain and simple. Of course, I have no facts to back that, this is my own assumption.
But the exclusivity didn’t stop there. One of the more cough courageous cough moves of Apple was to ditch the headphone jack. You know, kinda like what Motorola did. But this bold move was accompanied by a plan B – an adapter. Of course, the adapter isn’t the exclusive part, it’s the chickening out part, but that’s fodder for another editorial. No, the exclusive part came in the form of Apple’s brand new Air Pods.
These Air Pods are basically Apple Ear Pods without the cord. As in, they literally look like ear pods that someone cut the cord off of. Built into these Air Pods are a little bit of proprietary tech, including Apple’s new W1 chip. This chip is what powers the Air Pods and gives them great sound. But the funny thing about these Air Pods is that they work exclusively with Apple devices.
That’s right, if you go to Apple’s Air Pods page, and click on “Compatibility”, it’s all Apple as far as the eye can see. This is a little disappointing, since the Air Pods promise to deliver superior audio. Of course, that particular proof will be in the pudding, but it still seems odd that a pair of Bluetooth headphones are designed exclusively for Apple products. I mean, they’re Bluetooth headphones; what’s the big deal?
Well, it’s Apple’s big deal, that’s what. And this is nothing new to Apple’s philosophy. Look at the Apple watch, and how it works only with iPhone. That concept was reinforced yesterday. Look at iMessage – arguably one of the most popular messaging platforms – and that’s all Apple’s too.
I was actually hoping that Apple was starting to loosen its grasp of late. Apple Music is a multi-platform service. iCloud is available for PC. Lately, Apple has gotten into a groove with a lot of variety – especially around the Apple watch and the multitude of bands surrounding it. I had hoped that these ideas would signal a relaxation of Apple’s stringent policies. But alas they were back in full force.
And there’s nothing really wrong with that. Apple people tend to play Apple’s game. That’s the culture it has built. Will it continue to help Apple? Time will tell. Personally, I’d like to see Apple play better with the other kids on the playground. Cliques are for high school. And, apparently, mobile.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Super Mario Run would exclusively be on iOS. Pocketnow regrets the error.