An Apple Effect Worth Watching

Most technology companies are cognizant of how network effects influence adoption, but fail to adequately stimulate these network effects.  However, a few recent service launches by Apple recognize the influence network effects can have on the uptake of Apple devices.  AirPlay and AirPrint both illustrate Apple’s understanding that the greater the sphere of influence iOS devices can have, the stronger the network effects and therefore the greater the consumer adoption.  For example, Canon recently announced they would add AirPrint support to their PIXMA printers. This simple adjustment allows these printers to become more relevant to the iOS ecosystem, but also strengthens the relative position of iOS devices within the broader device ecosystem. Being able to sent content – either audio in the case of AirPlay or print in the case of AirPrint – to adjacent devices like speakers and printers directly from iOS devices strengthens the network effects surrounding iOS devices and will only strengthen the consumer appetite for these devices.