A stark reality check for Apple competitors
Apple would love us to believe it's all "Eureka." But Apple produces 10 pixel-perfect prototypes for each feature. They compete — and are winnowed down to three, then one, resulting in a highly evolved winner. Because Apple knows the more you compete inside, the less you'll have to compete outside.
We are all mesmerized by Apple's beautiful design, from device to screen, to the packaging itself. We see what the magicians want us to see. What we don't see is the 18 months of negotiating with the music companies. Nor the three years of teaching the supply chain that the Macbook Air had to be really thin, really light, and really enduring (10-hour battery). When those improvements intersected with the iPhone's great screen technology, the iPad (that glorious Air/iPhone hybrid) exploded.