Missing the Point

Apple’s competitors are beginning to realize that the battle of mobile computing has nothing to do with processor speeds, gigabytes of RAM, or being “open.” It’s actually a battle of ecosystems, platforms, and, user experiences. The pundits out there say that:

Since Nokia has its Ovi Store, provides Ovi Maps, and runs a music service, they are competitive with Apple.

Since Microsoft has its Windows Marketplace, provides Bing Maps, and runs a music service, they are competitive with Apple.

Since Google has its Android Marketplace, provides Google Maps, and runs a music service, they are competitive with Apple.

And they’re wrong.

Yes, all of these companies do need to provide those services. But all of the pundits – and there are a lot of them – are missing the most critical and important piece that binds everything Apple does together: the Apple ID.

Think about it:

What do you use to download an app? Your Apple ID.

What do you use to download a song? Your Apple ID.

To download a movie? Your Apple ID.

To FaceTime someone? Your Apple ID.

To set up a Mac? Your Apple ID.

To set up an Apple Store appointment? Your Apple ID.

To find a lost iOS device? Your Apple ID.

Ten years ago Apple began letting people create Apple IDs. Now more than 200 million people have one. None of Apple’s so-called competitors have anything like it, and building a comparable empire is nothing any of them can do in a couple of years, even if they follow Apple’s lead.

It took Apple a decade of hard work to get to where they are now. You can be sure they’re not going to give up their spot easily.