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经济学人:苹果 一体化产品

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Apple

苹果
Frictionless fruit
一体化产品
Convenience is the technology giant's latest weapon
便捷性成了这位科技巨头的最新武器
Cooking up a better Apple ecosystem
库克让苹果的生态系统提升了一个层次
AN APPLE launch that has an audience of thousands clapping and whooping? Must be a new iPhone, surely, or the long-awaited iWatch? The truth may sound dull, but it matters as much as any fancy new gadget. What Apple's boss, Tim Cook, presented on June 2nd, at the company's annual conference for software developers in San Francisco, were upgraded operating systems, one for its Mac desktops and laptops and another for its mobile devices, plus a new programming language. These, combined with other moves to nurture the Apple “ecosystem”, should make its offerings even more attractive to both developers and consumers—and even more formidable to its rivals.
这次苹果发布的产品引起了观众的欢呼雀跃吗?这次发布的肯定是一款新的iPhone,或是那期盼已久的iWatch吧?虽然发布会真正的内容或许听来无趣,但它在苹果发展战略中的地位不亚于一款华丽的新产品。本月2号,每年一度在三藩市举行的苹果软件开发者发布会上,苹果的老总蒂姆·库克向世界展示了最新升级的操作系统,其中包括一套台式和笔记本电脑的新系统,还有另外一套移动设备所使用的新系统,同时还推介了一套全新的编程语言。与其他共同构成苹果生态系统内容的结合之下,无论是站在开发者还是消费者的角度来看,新一代的操作系统都将会令公司的产品变得更有吸引力,甚至还能在同行业的竞争里进一步拉开差距。

Apple's pitch is greater convenience, in at least three ways. First, the operating systems, OS X Yosemite for Macs and iOS 8 for mobiles, will do more than improve on the current versions when they are released in the autumn.They will allow devices to work together seamlessly. An e-mail started on an iPhone or iPad can be finished on the desktop. If your iPhone rings, you will be able to take the call on your Mac—in effect, using it as a speakerphone.

至少从三个方面我们可以看出,本次苹果的战略中心在于提供更好的产品便捷性。首先是新的两大操作系统,当中包括电脑使用的OS X Yosemite以及移动设备所使用的iOS 8。而今年秋季这两大新系统正式发布时,人们将会看到这次的升级不仅仅是新系统在现有系统的基础上进行提升。新系统能够让所有的苹果产品进行无缝对接。例如,一封邮件的编辑可以从iPhone或者iPad上开始,并且能够转移到台式电脑里完成。如果你的iPhone响起了电话铃声,那你能够在自己的电脑里接听这通电话—实际上就相当于把电脑作为扬声电话来使用。
Apple is not the first to make such a promise. When Microsoft launched its Windows 8 system in the autumn of 2012, its big idea was to provide the same experience on all types of device, from desktop to mobile. Yet few have bothered to buy Windows smartphones or tablets, or personal computers with Windows 8. “Microsoft have all the pieces,” says Carolina Milanesi of Kantar WorldPanel, a research firm, “but they haven't pulled it all together.”
苹果并不是首家做出这种承诺的公司。例如,微软在2012年秋季Windows 8操作系统发布会举行之时,就已经将这样的一个设想呈现了出来:一个能够连接从电脑到移动设备所有类型产品,提供一体化体验的操作系统。然而,只有很少一部分人不厌其烦地购买了配有Windows系统的智能手机或平板电脑,或是配备Windows 8系统的个人电脑。来自调查公司Kantar WorldPanel的Carolina Milanesi表示,“微软已经拥有全部所需的设备,但他们并没有将其整合到一块。”
Not only does Apple promise friction-free computing; it has customers who are likely to use it. They upgrade eagerly, either by buying new gear or by installing new software on old stuff. Mr Cook boasted at the conference that 89% of Apple's mobile devices were on iOS 7 and 51% of Macs on OS X Mavericks, the current incarnations. In comparison, he gloated, only 14% of Windows personal computers were on Windows 8. And a mere 9% of mobile devices with Google's Android operating system had the latest variant.
苹果不仅对外承诺了一体化操作的更新,而且该品牌的顾客们也愿意去使用新系统。无论是购买新设备,还是在原有设备上更新软件,这些“果粉”永远渴望着更新换代。发布会当中,库克先生夸口称在目前使用的最新一代系统普及率方面,移动设备的iOS 7版本达到了89%,而电脑设备的OS X Mavericks则达到了51%。随后他得意地表示,相比之下,微软最新的系统Win 8在个人电脑市场普及率仅为14%,然而谷歌公司的安卓系统在移动设备市场的更新普及率也仅有9%。
Apple's second move towards greater convenience is to loosen some of its tight restrictions on developers. They will be allowed to bundle apps for sale at a discount in Apple's store, to show video previews and to invite users to test beta versions. Apple will also allow third-party apps—for example, ones that apply fancy effects to photos—to be embedded in its own apps.
苹果第二项优化便捷性的措施,在于放宽以前对开发者的部分严格限制。开发者们即将能够将不同的应用在苹果商店中进行捆绑折扣销售,能够给用户们播放前瞻视频,以及能够邀请用户下载测试版本的应用。苹果还会允许第三方应用(例如,一款能将特殊效果加到照片上的软件)嵌入苹果自己的应用当中。
The new programming language, Swift, will make it easier to write apps. Thanks to all this, programmers should be even keener to write them for iOS 8 first, before they turn to Android's many versions or to Windows. A fuller app store is in turn a bigger draw for consumers.
全新的编程语言Swift能够使开发者更容易创造新的软件应用。多亏了这一点,编程人员应该会更愿意先为iOS 8系统开发软件应用,而不是转向安卓系统里为数众多的不同版本,或者是投向Windows系统。一个货架上商品琳琅满目苹果商店,相应地会对消费者们产生更大的吸引。
The third convenience-boosting move is to simplify the growing mishmash of applications in two fields: health and the home. Apple plans to bring a lot of third-party health apps under a common platform, HealthKit, so that a blood-pressure reading from one app, say, might trigger an alert from another that prompts a call from the doctor. Likewise, HomeKit will bring together diverse apps for stuff around the house: at bedtime, a verbal instruction to an iPhone may lock the doors and dim the lights.
第三项优化是关于简化日益杂乱的健康管理和家庭管理应用。苹果计划将大量的第三方健康管理应用都收拢到一个通用的平台下,名为HealthKit。比方说,由于该平台的整合作用,其中某个应用测量出的血压读数,或许能够在另一个应用引起健康警报,进而通知医生打电话过来了解情况。同样地,应用平台HomeKit能够将繁杂的同类家庭管理应用整合起来:在睡觉时间,通过iPhone发出语音指令或许能够直接锁门以及调暗灯光。
Apple hopes that the sheer ease of having several interconnected apps in one place will bind people to its ecosystem of devices and software. People will still be able to switch to other devices, and take their data with them, but the fiddliness of changing over may keep them loyal. What may be more likely to put them off is who might get to see all their assiduously compiled data, especially about their health, a concern Apple sought to allay this week.
苹果希望通过整合相互联系的应用而达到极端便利体验,能够整合人们的生活,令他们与苹果的软件硬件生态系统紧密相连。人们依旧可以选择别家的设备,并且能够带走他们留在旧设备当中的数据,但或许正是因为这样便捷的转变方式,苹果能够一直保持客户们的忠诚。另外一个更有可能阻碍人们使用这样的应用平台的因素,是信息安全问题。人们担心自己的每天辛苦记录的资料可能会被其他人获取,尤其是用户的健康信息。而这正是一个在本周苹果极力想要向用户们缓解的一个担忧。
Although Microsoft's new boss, Satya Nadella, is bursting with bright ideas about a “mobile first, cloud first” world, the firm has a lot of catching up to do. As for makers of Android devices, they lack Apple's control over the operating system and the app store. The biggest of them, Samsung, plans to sell a smartphone based on its own operating system, Tizen—probably as a hedge against reliance on Google. “This is something only Apple can do,” purred Mr Cook this week. For now, he is right.
虽然微软的新老总Satya Nadella正想极力推动一堆充斥着脑海的好点子,有关创建“移动和云优先”世界的好点子,但公司还有许多方面需要努力迎头赶上。至于安卓设备的制造商们,他们所欠缺的是苹果公司的控制力——对操作系统以及应用商店的控制力。安卓阵营里规模最大的三星,正准备发售搭载了自家操作系统Tizen的智能手机——或许以此摆脱对谷歌安卓系统的依赖。本周,库克先生兴奋地说道:“这是只有苹果才能完成的事业。”而暂时来说,他说得很对。
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