The Motley Fool Previous Page

Apple's Making Friends and Enemies

Travis Hoium
June 12, 2012

One of the underrated and genius features of Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) surge in popularity has been the company's openness when it comes to software development. Apple has always been known as a closed platform with less available software than PCs, but slowly that changed when the iPhone was introduced and the app floodgates were opened. Now, slowly, the company is moving to steal the thunder of some of the most popular apps on iPhones and iPads.

Yesterday's new iOS and OS X announcements highlighted the company's openness and partnerships with some developers while shutting out other suppliers. To me, this divergence shows how Apple is viewing partners and threats to its current ecosystem.

Best friends forever
The integration Apple now has with Twitter and Facebook (Nasdaq: FB  ) , expanded under the new iOS, brings the two social networks front and center on all of Apple's iProducts. Now you can tweet or post to Facebook from Safari or your photos app, and developers will be able to integrate them into their apps. These two companies are closer than ever to Apple; it's increasingly integral to their success.

The Passbook app will make some friends, making it easier for airlines, movie theaters, and even merchants to remain front and center on a user's devices. It may cause the iPhone itself to become your wallet in the future. Starbucks, Fandango, and United got the publicity yesterday, showing off Passbook's capabilities to use location and updated data to make apps easy to use and access. I'm sure retailers are going to love being so readily available on the iPhone whenever you're out shopping or looking for a cup of coffee.

Maybe the biggest winner was Yelp (NYSE: YELP  ) , a network of reviews that will be integrated closely with Apple's devices, bringing vital information to consumers and probably replacing data Apple hoped would come from its failed social network, Ping. The market has barely flinched at the integration, but this is one company that I think came out a big winner from Apple's announcements yesterday.

Apple kicking old partners to the curb
The biggest loser of yesterday's event was anyone involved in mapping not named TomTom. Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN  ) and Google (<