Apple engages in a full spectrum of value models, using cutting-edge hardware devices, unsurpassed customer services, a number of intellectual properties, advanced technology and datasets, as well as networks of people and machines. While initially experiencing major challenges in executing several of these value models, Apple has managed to be successful in nearly all of them. While not completely undefeatable, it is incredibly challenging to unseat Apple's leadership in areas they choose to compete in.
Users create new value for the App Store by discovering and reviewing apps, and for other communities, like Nike+, where users can connect for fitness ideas, encouragement, and friendly competition.
The App Store functions as a centralized marketplace and distribution channel for app creators to sell their products. For example, users can download apps like Nike+ or Strava, which tap into data about a user’s health via the HealthKit API.
Apple has developed an extensible operating system with APIs and SDKs that enable third-party developers to create on top of their own hardware and software platform, minimizing their own cost and risk. The company’s HealthKit is one such API, which allows wellness apps and wearable sensors to use each other’s data and functions.
Apple creates both on-phone and in-cloud datasets about their customers. This data isn’t used primarily for Apple’s purposes—it’s for customers to gain further insight about themselves or to receive better functionality from their devices and apps (for example, health data that can be used securely across multiple apps).