Apple is always making the news, keeping them cool in the eyes of the media. If you look at most tech blogs the articles around Apple are usually the most heavily commented on and linked to. In other words Apple is good for the media industry.
In the past week or so news leaked that iOS6 would not be including the YouTube app by default. This doesn’t mean you can’t get the app on iOS, it just wont be on the home screen like you are used to. Is this big news? Not really, it is just Apple putting a line in the sand against Google and it’s Android operating system.
When I saw this news, I started to think, Apple is really good at making hardware and operating systems. However, they come up really short in content generation and social networking. Google is still the most dominant player in search, online video still has the most widely used maps, and is making strides in the social networking space. Facebook clearly dominates the social network space and is making inroads in to the advertising space.
Apple a few years ago buddied up with who they thought was the coolest kid around, Google. Apple these days is dumping Google in favor for Facebook and Twitter offering OS level integration of the two platforms.
I think to some extent these partnerships are keeping Apple a pure hardware and OS play. If they bet on the wrong partnership in the future this could be disaterous for them long term. If they bought a network like Path, which is tiny in comparison to Facebook, could they push it to greatness or would they mess it up and lose market share? Would any of their acquisitions actually cause them to lose partnerships?
I think getting into bed with Facebook and booting out Google is a short cited move in some ways. As a user, I would love the ability to have both Facebook and Google features by default on my iPhone. I don’t want to be tied to one network if possible, and it would be nice if the social integrations were selectable by the user and not just some corporate lawyers. In my opinion Apple can gain more consumer market share by allowing more than one network to integrate at the OS level.
Otherwise, Apple will continually go through a cycle of being the coolest kid with the best hardware, but it will also be known as the kid who dumps his real friends whenever something new comes by.