I agree with your points.
Stepping back a bit... It seems to me, what Microsoft, Google and now Amazon (and to some extent Samsung) are doing -- is jockying for control of the [non-laptop] mobile market.
If we take it as a given, today, Apple has control of the mp3 player, high-end smart phone and tablet markets, as well as the digital content delivery ecosystem... Then:
- Had Microsoft devoted the time and effort, they, likely, would have a first-class mobile Office suite running on smart phones and tablets and integrating with the Microsoft Office suites running on Windows and OS X computers.
- Had Google been satisfied with their lot in life in 2008, dominating search, maps and advertising -- they, arguably, might be in a better position serving searches, maps and ads to the mobile market.
- Had Amazon been satisfied with integrating the best 'hard-goods" ecosystem into the dominant mobile digital content ecosystem -- they too, arguably, would be better off than they are today.
- Then, there's Sammy... ahh, what can I say.
When Apple disrupted the mp3, smart phone, and tablet markets -- there were a few under-performers -- addressing, but not satisfying, a limited market. There were no markets (by today's standards) until Apple created them.
Now, these outliers (Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Samsung) are trying to control already established markets that are being successfully served. There really isn't anything to disrupt. There are only a few niches that can be served -- but no low-hanging fruit.
The siren-song of "control" has tempted these companies to risk their businesses (or even their survival) on "quick fixes" or short term gains....
IMO, these will fail!
Ecosystems are becoming more complex over time. They're evolving, just as nature does. Where they will end is anyone's guess right now.
it's like the two elements that have the possibility of starting life, carbon and silicon. Silicon has an outside. Chance, but it is t very compatible with much else, so it could take extremely favorable conditions, and immense time before anything might happen. But carbon binds with almost anything, in an almost infinite number of combinations, so like is vastly more likely with that in the center.
The same thing is happening with these companies. We see varying complexity in the different ecosystems. The more complex ones can evolve further. The simpler ones don't have enough oomph to get going very far. So Apple is much further advanced in their ecosystem than are the others. It will be very hard to catch up.
For Amazon, their various tablets are like silicon, in that many things won't stick. It's a weak base. With no direct profits it's got little holding power. With it being cheap, the people buying it are likely to buy less goods that are profitable, because they are specifically looking for a cheap product. So while Bezos says that they buy more than they would have otherwise, that really doesn't say much, because how much were they buying otherwise? He doesn't say.
Meanwhile Apple's iOS products are more like carbon. They're an important base upon which other products cling to. They are profitable, and aren't the cheapest products in that j inverse of products. Meaning that people. Who buy them aren't as concerned with price. So they are more likely to buy more.
Right now, Google has no real ecosystem, though they're trying with Google books and music. Search doesn't count, because everyone can use it. You don't need Google hardware for that.
Microsoft is better off, as they do have more than Google. But their hardware sales, in terms of the Xbox, their only non PC way of getting any of it, is tailing off. No guarantee that their new tablet OS's or phone OS will succeed in any big way either. We won't know that for a year.
Samsung has a lot of phone sales, though I suspect not as many as people think. Their tablet sales are the pits though. But they are also part of a much bigger conglomerate, so it matters less.