Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has for a long time maintained its stance of using its Apps only on Apple devices. This is contrary to rivals Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), which make their apps available in devices from rival companies.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) chose to tightly control its software and hardware, something that has given it an edge of the sorts  in battling its rivals, especially in the mobile market.

Apple apps

The iPhone maker’s apps are only available in its own devices, which leaves consumers no choice but purchase either an iPhone or an iPad. However, this stringent stance comes at a cost. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) can only rely on owners of Apple devices in availing its app-based products to the market.

Is this a good experience? Well, if you ask the company CEO, Tim Cook, the likely answer is, yes. However, a cross-market examination of the current scenario could suggest otherwise. For instance, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) can avail a majority of their apps to anyone regardless of which device they use. This fact has its own benefits as well, which Apple, certainly does not enjoy.

In a Wall Street Journal post published on March 12, Walt Mossberg refers to Apple as “the Switzerland of Mobile Platforms.” Switzerland is well known for housing offshore bank accounts for companies and individuals from across the globe.

With an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) mobile device, you get access to apps from almost all the rival companies, bar a few like Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s BlackBerry apps. Nonetheless, there are just but a few of the Apps from rival firms available in iOS devices. Most importantly, Apple does get the key ones,  and no wonder, WSJ titled the post, “How Apple gets all the good Apps”.

One might argue that the reason why these big rivals (Microsoft, Google, and Amazon) avail their apps to other companies is because they are mainly software companies, unlike Apple, which is very dominant in the two markets. However, the three of them do have some sort of mobile devices; for instance,, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has the Kindle Fire tablets, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) the Windows 8 Surface tablets, and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) through its fully owned subsidiary Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MSI) manufactures smartphones, as well as the Nexus tablets in partnership with Asus Computer.

All the three companies have expressed the desire to continue availing their apps across different platforms while Apple is expected to maintain its stance to only avail its apps on its iOS platform. The three definitely have a wider accessible market compared to Apple, which gives them an extra hand  since they can sell their products to Apple device owners.

On the other hand, iOS platform users can easily play Microsoft’s Xbox 360 on their iPhone, and can use Google, Google Voice search among others as well without having to purchase an Android device. Even Samsung electronics has already joined the likes of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) in designing iOS based Apps for their devices.

You can now use your Apple device to control features in a Samsung smart TV. While iOS platform gives you the ability to choose between different rival Apps to use for various needs, you can not exclusively access all rival Apps, which means if you are strongly attached to a certain platform, say Android, then you might be forced to purchase an Android device.

Bottom Line

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) strategy to screen the usage of its apps to be within its line of products sets a “take it or leave it scenario”, which means if a customer wants to use Siri, then they must purchase the device. On the other hand, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) can boast their ability to sell their products to a wider market irrespective of the type of mobile platform.

In recent reports, Google’s iOS apps for use in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices are said to be cannibalizing on Apple’s own made apps. This means that if that trend continues, then Apple apps could be ousted from iOS devices in the long run. Perhaps, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) might reconsider availing them to rival platforms like Android, Windows phone etcetera.