Apple exec: Uber 'would not exist' without us

Apple is starting to make more noise about the power of its App Store as it begins to rely on its services business more heavily for revenue growth.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s head of internet services, even tried to take credit for Uber in an recent interview.

“I think it’s awesome that Travis and his team have done Uber on our platform. It would not exist without our platform, let’s be clear,” he told Fast Company.

While Apple only became an indirect investor in Uber earlier this month, and the Uber app works fine on Android phones, you can kind of see Cue’s point.

When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007 and the iTunes App Store in 2008, it created a new platform for computing. Google’s Android didn’t launch until September 2008. Now, it’s hard to imagine a world without sophisticated mobile apps.

Using that logic, Apple could take credit for Snapchat, Shazam, or even Pokémon Go.

Wait: Apple CEO Tim Cook kind of did take credit for Pokémon Go earlier this month. Pokémon Go is “a testament to what happens with innovative apps and the whole ecosystem and the power of a developer being able to press a button and offer their product around the world,” Cook said during Apple’s earning call. “That’s why you see so many iPhones in the wild out there chasing Pokemans [sic].”

Google Play is also a major app store, but people on Apple’s store consistently spend more money and download more apps, so it’s easy to see why entrepreneurs like Uber CEO Travis Kalanick decide to launch on iPhone first.

The emerging Apple message: the App Store makes new experiences possible. Part of that is because the App Store has become a big part of Apple’s new push to find recurring revenue from its services.

Here’s the full Cue quote:

I love Facebook. We can’t be everything. One of the reasons we’ve been highly successful is that we focus. We can’t be great at everything; nobody’s great at everything. I mean, come on. So, if you want to be great at something, you have to focus and do a few things. We’ve been lucky. We’ve had a few, and not just one. That’s the only way we know how to work. So we don’t want to be Amazon and be Facebook and be Instagram and so on. Why? Or Uber. Why? I think it’s awesome that Travis and his team have done Uber on our platform. It would not exist without our platform, let’s be clear. But great for them for thinking of that problem, and solving it. We would never have ever solved that problem. We weren’t looking that way. We would have never seen it.

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