Originally Posted by anantksundaram
Just steadily plowing along, with their eyes clearly focused on the ball.
One has to wonder: Why do others have such a tough time replicating this? There is so much talent with the money out there in the tech world that could be creating more value for their investors.
Apple has taken ten years to get here. Other companies are trying to do the same in 1-3 years, so they will fail. It's leveraged one product after another starting with the iMac and Ti Powerbook, OS X, Apple Retail Stores, iTunes, iPod, iTunes Store, etc., and built up its experience, expertise, ecosystem, supply chain. As Jobs has quoted Gretzky, Apple skated to where the puck was going - mobile consumer devices. It dropped hints (opening stores, investing in Flash RAM, acquiring multi-touch, unibody enclosures) but most people still didn't see where it was going.
What a competitor needs to do is forecast where the puck will be 5-7 years from now; see what other markets/products will converge into mobile devices, and start building up the needed pieces in those places where Apple and other competitors are not, or where it can have a small but profitable business. That's what Apple did during 2000-2007, it built up media content sales, retail stores, OS/SDK tech, mobile gadget design/production through these other efforts before getting into phones/tablets/App stores.
I think Google with ads/search, OSes, maps, and web apps, Nokia with maps and supply chain, and Microsoft with Xbox and Office/enterprise are Apple's biggest threats if they can figure out where the puck is going. They all have sheer size that will give them time to withstand many assaults, and the ability to just buy any technology/service they need. Right now, it seems Google has an idea, Nokia possibly but it's fairly quiet, and Microsoft not so much (at least by what can be seen).