At the beginning of the year I wrote a piece called Make iPhone Awesome in 2019. Three months later, a new report highlights part of the issue I addressed. Here’s the problem in my view.
iPhone is becoming a dumb information pipe running third party apps from big companies. These apps are platform agnostic and only serve their businesses interests. The humans behind the screen are second class citizens. Just look at 2018 iOS free app downloads chart.
Don’t get me wrong. This is a legitimate business goal but a bittersweet deal for Apple and iOS. At the end of the day, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are pretty much the same on iPhone or a high end Android phone.
Facebook vs Apple vs Everyone Else
Will Oremus, in Facebook vs Apple argues that Facebook wants to be WeChat for everyone outside China. This “puts iOS in its crosshairs” and “It could get ugly”.
WeChat is the epitome of one apps does it all. In theory WeChat is just an app. An app offering thousands of micro apps inside the main app. Apps for payments, house cleaning, mobility options, eating, shopping etc.
WeChat is point zero for human desires and needs in China
In practice, WeChat is point zero for human desires and needs in China. This is what Facebook want to become. The “gravity point” for everyone outside China.
When Facebooks turns into WeChat, running Facebook on iPhone, Android or Facebook OS won’t matter. For most people what matters is the upfront cost of the device they hold in their hands. How much dollars, euros, yuans and yens they paid.
There are other currencies than money.
Paying less for hardware and achieving the same with software is a sweet deal. Everyone loves that. The thing is that humans often choose to pay with other currencies than money. It’s a fact for millennia.
In the 21st century these currencies can well be attention span, time spend on device, personal information, privacy and more. These currencies are platform agnostic. They are intangible. They are exchanged on all devices. All of them.
That’s why is important for Apple to offer more on its platform. More iOS unique features that will make Facebook, Twitter and Instagram better on iPhone and iPad than Android. More problem solving on iOS than on Facebook or WhatsApp.
One way would be Apple modules to super charge iOS apps.