An ecosystem is defined as a biological community of interacting organisms. In tech terms, this means a group of devices with software to create one collaborative network. Many companies use this to create a ‘family’ of products but no company have mastered it like Apple with the Apple Ecosystem.
The ecosystem is something that draws consumers in to purchase more products to work simultaneously. It all begins with the iPhone. You purchase your brand new iPhone, suddenly you have an iPad, a Mac, an Apple TV, an Apple Watch, AirPods and most recently, a HomePod. Why? There could be various other products on the market that are better and cheaper. Having an Apple product disconnects the user from using many exceptional products from third-party companies, mostly because third-party products usually are not compatible with Apple products.
Software such as iCloud, airplay, airdrop and continuity allows us to start a task on one device and continue it on another. For example, you start a Pages document on your Mac but you need to leave the house, you continue it on your iPhone thanks to iCloud files and multi-platform applications. Or you start texting on your phone but your listening to music on your HomePod, you know the notification is there but you do not want to reach for your phone. What do you do? You ask Siri to read your notifications via HomePod.
A great case is AirPods, the removal of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 encouraged users to buy AirPods. The fluency of set-up also creates the want for the wireless earbuds as does the fluency of use within the ecosystem. AirPods use a W1 chip which allows AirPods to automatically connect to any device on one’s iCloud account.
Families of devices or ‘ecosystems’ create a sense of consistency and ease in a consumers life and the majority of the time Apple aims to impress and support the consumer. You buy an iPhone and suddenly you have a smartwatch, a smart speaker and a top of the range laptop. Is this good for the consumer? Does it keep us connected and happy or is it to make us spend more money?