The iPod touch is an amazing device that has revolutionized our interaction with portable multimedia devices. But what would it be without its app library? This model is Apple’s genius, and it’s a genius that has transformed and defined an industry. Let’s examine how Apple was able to make apps for the iPod and iPhone so important to our everyday lives.
1. Apple offered unparalleled customization options.
Apple could have packed the iPod and other i-devices with the capabilities that would appeal to the average consumer. They could have even marketed multiple configurations. Instead, they created a single configuration that the consumer could customize to their tastes. Should those tastes change, so could the iPod.
2. Apple fostered competition.
Apple could have kept all app development in-house. They could have tried to create their own exclusive market. Instead, they fostered competition between their app developers and third-party developers. In doing so, they’ve lost some battles, but overall, that competition has improved every aspect of the app-based system.
3. Apple promoted the potential of the platform.
Had the iPod app market been Apple-only, the iPod platform would have likely stagnated. By allowing third-party developers to create money off the iPod through app development, they created a thriving community. That community has challenged the iPod and pushed the platform to its limits.
4. Apple reduced functionality into bite-sized chunks.
The functionality that a computer user needs is often just one aspect of a software package. This makes it difficult to find precisely what one wants, and it makes the purchase more difficult because the research phase is more elaborate. With apps, you can buy the right text editor without needing a full office suite.
5. Apple made apps affordable.
The other advantage to this reduction is price. Since the iPod user is buying functionality in small chunks, the cost of any one purchase is low. That low cost makes it easy to buy. The ease of which the iPod user can make impulse purchases is a vital but often overlooked key to the model’s success.
6. Apple opened and refined the App Store.
For the average consumer, buying software has to be simple. This was the goal of Apple’s App Store. It wasn’t a complete success immediately, but Apple paid close attention to what worked and what didn’t. Today, the App Store is lean and mean. Non-tech-savvy customers can browse, search, evaluate, buy, and install with ease.