Let’s be honest. Every technology gadget maker we know and love or loathe does the same thing. Copy. Steal. Infringe. Bend the rules and laws in their favor. Or, just take intellectual property, patented designs, copyrights, and designs of their competitors to use as there own.
Yes, they all do it, but one company seems to have more stolen than others. Which one? Apple.
Let’s take the Mac as an example. What did the MacBook Air bring to the industry? An ultra thin and light notebook. What do most PC notebooks look like these days? MacBook.
Of course, the iPhone is a perfect example of technology copycats gone wild. What did smartphones look like before iPhone? They were a jumbled mess of differing designs with crummy screen, difficult to use software, and hardware keyboards that were impossible to navigate.
iPhone killed all that with a simple slab of glass, a thin and light design with rounded corners, and a touch screen. What do all smartphones look like these days?
How much do today’s smartphones look like iPhones? Check out the new Motorola P30. It’s a shameless ripoff.
What I find interesting about the current state of technology gadget makers is how many lose money or make very little money vs. the two industry giants which take home the largest marketshare, the most revenue, and the most profits.
Apple and Samsung.
What has all that copying of patents, designs, and intellectual property done for Apple’s competitors? Other than Samsung, not much; at least, not much you can count.
What Apple does best is exactly why copycat competitors have not bothered to copy.
Apple has an entire ecosystem available to customers which often is described as a walled garden. Nobody copies that at all. Apple has nearly 600 Apple Stores around the world so customers get buy products, receive free training, and get face-to-face customer support.
Microsoft has a few dozen stores but they’re usually filled with more employees than customers. Nobody else has that ecosystem.
Look at Apple’s iOS Upgrade and Update system. Devices get new updates, and for the most part, they just work. I’ve had two problems on two iPhones in 10 years. The first came with MobileMe when the first App Store launched. The second came a couple of years ago. Both required a full reinstall, but even there Apple has a useful system others do not; whereby an Apple ID can reinstall everything to a new device.
Thanks to new versions of iOS working on old iPhones and iPads, each upgrade adds new functionality and capability, which, when you think about it, means older devices improve each year for years.
You can’t get that on the average Android smartphone.
Look around and you’ll agree– nobody bothers to copy Apple’s ecosystem. There may be a billion or more Android smartphone users on planet earth than iPhone and iPad users, but their devices don’t last as long, don’t have as high a resale value, and don’t get improved functionality each year.
That’s all part of Apple’s renowned ecosystem and nobody copies that.