Apple: Curating with Care. What Are the Odds?

November 22, 2022

No one likes ads. They are a necessary evil to keep services free. Unfortunately, users are experiencing more ads than their desired content. Even worse, Apple has transformed its App Store into a giant ad scam hole. Ars Technica shares Apple users’ frustration about the latest iOS update: “Why The App Store’s Tone-Deaf Gambling Ads Make Me Worry About Apple.”

The newest iOS update included important security upgrades, bug fixes, and new features. The App Store’s ad services framework was also included in the upgrade, but instead of repairing problems, the store is now an obnoxious purveyor of irrelevant ads. The store is flooded with ads advertising gambling and get-rich-quick crypto scams. What is even worse is that these ads are playing next to games intended for kids.

Apple is aware of the problem and shut down the worst of the ads, but long-term problems are still an issue.

The bigger question is that Apple is no longer differentiating itself from its rivals. Unlike Microsoft, Facebook, and Google, Apple used to make most of its revenue from hardware sales. Its hardware sales are down, so Apple is compensated for the lower profit margins. It comes at the cost of users’ confidence that their Apple products protected their privacy more than others.

“That’s why Apple’s excursions into the ad business and the increased importance of the Services division to Apple’s continued growth worry me. Not because I think Apple’s products will become unusable or because I think the iPhone or Apple TV home screen is going to become dominated overnight by Roku-style half-page ads, but because I think that the pressure for Apple to degrade the experience for users and developers in the name of expanding its ad business will gradually increase as Apple tries to satisfy shareholders looking for perpetual growth.”

Apple is regarded as a high-quality product, a cut above a basic PC. The expensive price tag and the better privacy OS augments that reputation, but if Apple becomes more like its rivals it will not long per elitist. UGH!

Whitney Grace, November 22, 2022

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