What makes Apple’s new alliance with Amazon and Google so significant for Tim Cook’s Apple.

The headline from the announcement on Apple’s Newsroom
Image via Apple.com

Ever since Tim Cook has become CEO of Apple, the company has been more open to cooperating with its competitors. Through moves like putting the Apple TV app on non-Apple smart tis and finally allowing Siri support for Spotify, Apple has demonstrated that its isolationist ways are behind them, with the company embracing new policies of cooperation with other companies. Today, Apple took the biggest step in working with other rivaled companies. In an Apple newsroom briefing, the company announced an alliance with Google, Amazon, and Zigbee Alliance ( group of companies that make smart home products like Phillips and Ike that have a reestablished standard for smart home products). The four have allied with each other with the goal of creating a uniform smart home experience that will hopefully make smart home devices more user friendly and accessible. Prior to this arrangement, these parties each had their own proprietary smart home standard. This often made it difficult for users to distinguish which smart home products worked with their devices and could often restrict them from buying smart home devices that might not work within the ecosystem they were locked into. What makes this alliance particularly significant for Apple is the shift in their policy that this agreement signifies. While, as I previously stated, Apple has been cooperating with other companies more recently, all of these cooperations had some aspect that was beneficial for Apple. In the case of putting the Apple TV app on non-Apple smart TVs, Apple was able to expand the viewer base of their streaming service, Apple TV+, to people who may not be in the Apple Ecosystem. Apple benefited from allowing Siri to control Spotify as it gave people another reason to buy their smart speaker and helped to close the gap between Apple’s voice assistant and those of its competitors, like Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. What makes Apple’s alliance with the other companies different from prior instances of cooperation with competitors is that there is no real big financial incentive for Apple in this agreement. In fact, one could even say that Apple could lose money as part of this alliance due to the fact that they will no longer be able to charge a premium for the only smart home devices that work in their ecosystem. Apple is not in this alliance for financial gain, they are purely involved to make user’s experiences with their products more fluid and seamless. This is what makes it such an important moment for the current Apple and Tim Cook, as Cook’s background as an industrial engineer, a position that is essentially based around finding unique ways to cut costs and maximize profits, has been blamed for sacrificing user experience in the name of a profit, but this announcement clearly demonstrates that Apple still puts user experience above all.

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