Steve Cheney wrote a piece boldly titled “On Apple’s Insurmountable Platform Advantage” that’s a great read, even though I am always wary of end-of-history words like “insurmountable.”
Cheney’s most interesting point is that Apple is no longer just a company that excels at synthesizing its expertise in hardware and software design into great products; it’s now one of the few companies in the world that excels at processor design:
The truth is the best people in chip design no longer want to work at Intel or Qualcomm. They want to work at Apple. I have plenty of friends in the Valley who affirm this. Sure Apple products are cooler. But Apple has also surpassed Intel in performance. This is insane. A device company - which makes CPUs for internal use - surpassing Intel, the world’s largest chip maker which practically invented the CPU and has thousands of customers.
Apple has a lot of challenges and the future is promised to no one, but this is a good example of why Apple remains at the top of its game—its mastery of the supply chain and its foresight into controlling key parts of its products in ways that its competitors will find hard to match.