Lets face it. Apple (AAPL) is just a juggernaut of an ecosystem. Not just due to the fan base and the fanatics within it. We get fan from fanatics which has an interesting etymology. But before I digress, I’ll pull myself back onto the tracks. So, what is this Apple ecosystem? Well, it is the walled garden. The fact that people embrace the gadgets created by Apple and short of cloud based services, is completely internal.
Here is that rumored iPhone 6: http://www.macrumors.com/2014/09/06/working-iphone-6-photos/
I’ll just leave that URL up there to show where I got the motivated to comment about the iPhone. I’m not even talking about the iPhone itself, but the fact that every single time a new product hits the market from Apple, there is an entire economic whirlwind that kicks into action. Look at the iPhone 5/5S, then look at the 4, 3, 2, 1 and then look at the 6.
New cases, screen protectors, software that takes advantage of it, services that take advantage of it, accessories and who knows what else. Primarily though, it is the case ecosystem that just really makes you say “wow, I could run a business making just cases each year” and people do just that. Just do a search. Dozens of major brands, hundreds of minor brands and thousands upon thousands of resellers make a living from just cases.
With a 3D printer, you could make custom cases. Granted, it would be expensive if you charged a real living wage because the average low end (consumer grade) 3D printer takes about 6-8 hours to print an iPhone case. It would definitely make life a bit easier if you could automate it so your platen would spit out a completed case and then start working on the next one. Like a DVD duplicator.
I teach my students about technology, computers, information. I’m a business person as well. So, I meld the latest trends with what I teach, it shows I’m paying attention not just to the academics, but to the real world. It motivates students to see that professors aren’t always starchy. I’m a bit oddball. But I hope my students find me as a source of motivation.
So, when I speak to my students this week, it will include a segment about the iPhone 6 and the ecosystem surrounding it and how they can use technology to improve their life and those of their fellows. Perhaps in the future, they too can build an economic whirlwind that changes the lives of those who embrace it and each year see their profits increase.
Every year, Apple drops something new in terms of at least design… and EVERYONE who buys one needs to buy a new case… at least.