The aura of its brand and the lure of its ecosystem puts Apple in a powerful position. Captive customers mean robust sales regardless of the level of innovation. It also allows the company to tightly integrate products and services to put competitors at a distinct disadvantage.
For example, iPhone users can ask Siri to stream specific songs and playlists from Apple Music to any of their Apple devices. And Airpods, the dorky new Bluetooth headphones, get the same connectivity smarts. They work magically with everything in the Apple ecosystem as soon as you open their carrying case.
It’s not really magic. It’s by design. It’s a trap to keep customers captive in the Apple ecosystem. And it’s working.
The key to Apple’s success is not innovation. It’s the ecosystem. And now is pressing that advantage in a big way.