With increasingly seamless integration between its phones, tablets, Macs and other devices, it seems as if Apple's ultimate goal is to build an ecosystem for each of its customers — one that supports numerous devices and allows users to manage virtually every part of their computing lives with the Apple brand. This isn't happening as quickly as Apple would like.
According to data collected by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), about 43 percent of Apple buyers own just one device. Considering Apple's push to support all computing needs, the fact that nearly half of its customers use other devices for certain functions is something the company will want to change.
The data can be broken down to see where growth opportunities exist. For example, 60 percent of Mac and iPad owners have also purchased an iPhone, but just under half of Mac and iPhone owners have purchased an iPad. Meanwhile, just 25 percent of those who own either an iPhone or iPad have purchased a Mac. This shows that the more expensive the Apple device an individual buys, the more likely they are to buy less costly devices to support it. Most Mac owners aren't going to stop with their computer, but someone who goes to Apple for an iPhone may be content with a Windows PC for their desktop computing needs.
Michael Levin, partner and co-founder of CIRP, shared his findings in a recent Huffington Post article. He says Apple may need to rethink what it means when it refers to building an ecosystem for its users.
"When Apple observers talk about the Apple 'ecosystem' they tend to refer to how hardware ownership promotes other software, accessory, and content purchases," Levin writes. "Apple remains largely a hardware manufacturer, though. And, it doesn't sell as many additional devices to existing customers as it probably could."
What will this report mean for Apple's future research, development and marketing efforts? Will the company put an enhanced focus on hardware and software integration, making it exceedingly difficult and borderline impossible to use any non-Apple machine as long as the user owns at least one device? While Apple likely wouldn't be able to get away with eliminating any form of cross-platform functionality, it will likely continue to add features that increases the value of an integrated hardware ecosystem.
For example, the upcoming launch of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite will further integrate Apple's mobile and desktop platforms with greater continuity between the two than ever before. Users will be able to start tasks on one device and finish them on another. Communication and collaboration is more seamless, regardless of the device it's being conducted on.
"Apple products have always been designed to work together beautifully. But now they may really surprise you. With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, you'll be able to do more wonderful things than ever before," states a message on the Apple website.
It's safe to assume Apple will not be pleased by this recent report and integration will be a continued focus for the company going forward. Businesses that use iPhones, iPads or Macs in some capacity can seek the help of an Apple support provider to ensure their Mac integration is properly managed.