Apple Vision Pro Doesn't Need Netflix

Apple's Testy Developer Relationships Threaten to Hamper Vision Pro

Mark Gruman’s article about the prospects of app availability in the new Apple Vision Pro:

The success of Apple Inc.'s Vision Pro, like many new technology platforms, will largely depend on support from third-party apps and services. And that’s an area where the device still faces plenty of questions.

Some big name developers thus far aren’t doing much to help the device. Three of the world’s most popular streaming services – Netflix Inc., YouTube and Spotify Technology SA – have already signaled that they won’t be launching visionOS software or enabling their iPad apps to run on the Vision Pro.

He goes on to list 4 possible reason for developers not providing support initially. My nitpick on them is that most of them apply to larger companies developing software, whim they mostly do not apply to indie or smaller developers:

  1. Return on the investment Developers are taking a wait-and-see approach to see if the size of the new market is worth it. And the larger the Developer is, the larger the market will need to be do justify the work.
  2. Developer discontent The current kerfufle about Apple allowing developers to implement alternative payment methods but still taking a big commission may be keeping some away, but again I believe this only applies to the big companies likes the ones listed above.
  3. App incompatibility I think this is the first reason that is more applicable to all developers and not just the big ones. The interaction model for Apple Vision Pro is not multitouch like on iOS and iPadOS, so translating some apps to this new model is not trivial.
  4. Poor performance on other app stores The TV, Watch stores have not been as successful as the iOS App Store. That hasn’t stopped Netflix, Spotify,, from providing apps. I think this is the most weak of reasons out of the 4, just a subset of 1’s wait and see approach.

An example,

Netflix deciding to not provide an app at the moment is ceding the mind-share to other streaming services but most Apple Vision Pro buyers are most certainly already Netflix subscribers. As soon as that starts to translate into less engagement from those users on other platforms, or the amount of people watching streaming on Apple Vision Pro is large enough they will react. It wouldn’t surprise me if they already have an application internally ready to go.

Conversely, a smaller developer has a good opportunity to place their application in front of potentially new clients with disposable income.

When clicking a checkbox gets you compatibility it’s a no-brainer it’s terms or ROI for a lot of these developers, specifically if their applications are fairly mature on the previous platforms so the opportunity cost is not as big.

These are also the developers that can be peeved by the Apple tax shenanigan, but would also not implement an alternative payment method even if they have limited capacity and would rather continue improving their apps.

The linchpin for the success of this new device is Apple’s capacity of convincing people that this new spatial computing paradigm is valid and here to stay.

Adding support for their own apps, quickly expanding the countries where the Apple Vision Pro is available on, and launching other models that have more mass appeal (aka. cheaper)