The App Store launched in 2008. After that, when people bought apps and games they were also continuing to buy into Apple. As they shelled out $0.99 here and $1.99 there for new software that only ran on their Apple devices, they were digging deeper into Apple’s offering and further away from BlackBerry and a new operating system that was on the horizon: Android.
Apple continued to build out this ecosystem by changing the way its products interacted with one another. Apple added the ability to use iMessage and FaceTime from an iPad, for example, allowing you to carry on your iPhone conversations on a tablet. Then it introduced a similar feature to Macs, also adding in support for full phone calls. The more Apple devices you used, the better they worked together… More at CNBC.
I’m not 100% convinced by this and tend to believe that most people buy an iPhone or an iPad without even considering the ecosystem.
I know many people who own and iPhone and no Mac or iPad or Apple TV and I tend to believe that the ecosystem is not considered unless you are forced to become involved in it.
For example, I wouldn’t buy an Apple Watch if I owned an Android phone, but I did buy an Apple TV purely to manage the films I had bought through iTunes. In that case I was kind of forced because the Apple TV is one of the lesser options available and still does not support Amazon unless through AirPlay.
I think that Apple’s ecosystem works for and against it depending on the product and that the vast majority of people don’t even know it is there.