Why Apple blinked
[Via Brainstorm Tech: Technology blogs, news and analysis from Fortune Magazine » Apple 2.0]
An analyst offers three reasons Apple relaxed its rules for App Store subscriptions
Scott Forestall demoing iOS 5’s Newsstand. Source: Apple Inc.
RBC’s Mike Abramsky was the first analyst out of the gate Friday to comment on Apple’s (AAPL) decision to make it easier for publishers and other content partners to offer in-app subscriptions.
This is not a case of blinking. It is not a game of chicken when a 21st century company is involved.
Companies of the industrial age play a zero sum game. Companies of the 21st play a win-win scenario.
Apple presented a policy that it felt was fair and beneficial to its customers. Which it was.
But the policy also hampered the collaborators that Apple depended on to make the subscription policy work, and to increase the reach of the App store.
Apple usually puts it customers first, something quite unusual these days, but does recognize more and more the importance of its collaborators.
Here, it listened to its collaborators and found a way to adapt its policy to create a win-win for everyone.
Too many analysts still try and describe Apple as if it was a company of the last century. They fail to see the real shape of the future here.
Apple strives to find the sweet spots of win-win. 21st Century companies adapt to create non-zero sum results.
You can also see this with their general business approach. All other hardware manufacturers play zero sum games – they have to gain market share and can only do that by taking it away from someone else. Profits seem to disappear in this setting though.
Apple plays a non-zero sum game – they are happy to have a falling part of a growing market, as long as they keep getting more profits.
Thus, Apple may only have a very small percentage of the cell phone market (4%) but they hold the majority of all the profits.
Which is more sustainable in the end? That is what a 21st century company can accomplish.