Apple makes the best devices in the world. Since its inception in the 1970s, Apple has insisted on making hardware and not just software like rival Microsoft. It was a strategy that saw Apple lose its early battles with Bill Gates and Microsoft — before Apple surged back to become the world’s most valuable company by making hardware, devices like the iPod, iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch. But with those came iTunes and the iOS App Store and software that delivers content became Apple’s domain. After all, a device is only as good as what it does and what it accesses.
For a long while now the watchwords in the tech industry have been “content is king.” Despite the overwhelming popularity of its devices, nobody knows this better than Apple, which sells 85% of the world’s music downloads. But downloads are dropping in popularity as streaming services ramp up. That’s why Apple is launching its own new streaming service — to battle Spotify, whose early jump in streaming gives it a lead similar to Apple’s in downloads. The iPhone is ultimately merely the gateway to content. Content — music, movies, video, etc. — remains the once and future king.