Apple sells iPhones by the bucketload – 216 million of them last year. In contrast its Mac sales are pitiful. The obvious conclusion is that most iPhone users run their device alongside a Windows PC.
Which begs the question, if that’s the case why does Apple make it so hard to run Apple services on a PC.
For example, most cloud services provide a File Explorer extension which makes your storage look like another desktop drive. Not iCloud.
Apple’s Reminders and Notes services are convenient and capable on the iPhone, annoying web access only on Windows. Apple Messages sync happily between iPhone and a Mac, but totally absent on a PC. Apple Music is accessible via iTunes, but really the software is so awful nobody would choose to install it without a gun to their head.
Now Apple’s plan might well be to try and force iPhone customers to choose a Mac next time out but there’s little evidence of that strategy working. Apple’s share of the PC market remains static – at best – and expensive and compromised devices, with limited choice and a narrow market niche aren’t going to change that anytime soon.
So Apple needs to step back and make a decision. Is its move towards services as a key revenue stream strengthened or weakened by making more of them usable on Windows.
Before leaping to the obvious conclusion remember that the whole sum of the current Apple business, its successes and growth can all be traced to one similarly counter-intuitive decision to make iTunes for Windows and open the iPod to all.