Are we amazed enough that amid Apple's success (& cult of devotees) there is zero response from Redmond/MSFT, Palo Alto/H-P, Austin/DELL or Japan Inc? Zero. At best we hear wan promises of eventual point product, me-too giblets from former tech giants who have long palavered on about innovation, competitiveness & corporate muscle.
Not one can hire Ogilvy & Mather for brand & some Euro-sleek industrial designer? Not one can partner with Gap, Zara or H&M to build out hip, luxury tech product retailing? Not one can motivate to cherry-pick HP h/w & MSFT s/w and gen-up a few phones, tablets & PCs? Not one can simply imitate or reverse-engineer Apple's success?
It hit me, there is no Ford to GM, HP to IBM, Cartier to Tiffany. No Burger King to, well, you get it... It reminds me of the PC clone days - cheaper Asian versions of the boxes but an inability to reproduce the mystique, the Charlie Chaplin cool, the software, the look& feel or the distribution ecosystem.
Technology is now the least of Apple's assets, probably the easiest to emulate. Its the brand cache, industrial design, ease of use and retailing savvy that are their secret sauce.
Whitman, Ballmer, Dell, even Ellison don't seem able to get their heads around where Apple is now. Despite the bull & bravado of their execs, no tech firm is answering Apple, the world's most valuable company. The comptitive silence is staggering. The Silence of the Lambs, I reckon.