Faced with questions about its growth and slowing hardware sales, Apple Inc. is making its services smarter and giving outsiders access to them with the aim to bolster them. On Monday, the company held its annual developers’ conference, the iPhone maker revealed changes that it had made to its four software operating systems, for the iPad, Mac, iPhone, Apple Watch and Apple TV and focused on a new willingness of the company to allow outside developers to incorporate new features in its most widely used services such as Siri, Maps and Messages. Tim Cook, the Chief Executive of Apple Inc., spoke to an audience filled with thousands of developers.
He said that working with all of them would make the company’s software even more capable. The announcement is another move by the Cupertino, California based firm for touting its services. Earlier this year, the firm had begun breaking out the revenue it rakes in from its services, which include Apple Pay, Apple Music and App Store sales. When touting its services, Apple places special emphasis its more predictable revenue and its loyal customer base rather than discussing the boom-or-bust cycles that are associated with its new products. Experts have said that services are undoubtedly gaining a bigger role.
However, it is important to note that Apple doesn’t emphasize services in the same way as other Silicon Valley companies do because its aim is to sell more devices rather than accumulate data from targeted advertising. Moreover, the push into services by Apple also comes at a time when hardware sales are dropping. Recently, the smartphone giant posted its first ever decline in quarterly revenue in 13 years and analysts have predicted a further decline in the sales of its flagship iPhone in the quarter ending on September, for the first time since the firm introduced the phone in 2007. Though the company is expecting a lot from the upcoming release of Apple Watch 2 and iPhone 7.
At the conference on Monday, Apple put a lot of weight behind its major services, which includes digital assistants, messaging, music streaming and maps. In these areas, the company is struggling to keep up with its rivals, which include Amazon.com Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc. Lots of new features were added for messaging, which include larger emojis, an option to keep messages invisible and also special effects for conveying emotions. The iPhone maker’s attempts to jazz up is messaging service is highlighting the impact on popular messaging apps like Snapchat that make the green and blue bubbles of iMessage appear drab and static.
Messages were also opened to outside developers so people can purchase movie tickets via Fandango, make payments via SquareCash and order food from DoorDash without needing to abandon a conversation with their friends. This is in accordance with a growing trend followed by popular messaging platforms including WeChat of Tencent Holdings Inc. and Facebook’s Messenger for serving as a gateway to a plethora of other services. Apple was once renowned for limiting access to its services, but it has now chosen to go for an open approach amidst heavy competition.