Originally Posted by afv011
It may surprise you, but apple is not necessarily the first to bring new technology to the market, though they seem to have a way to stuff that idea in people's minds
Jobs had a way of making common implementation appear distinctive by offering an overall sense of purpose that informed the design, specs, functionality and HW/SW integration of a given device. Part of the reason people often think Apple is the first is because they'd never seen a device which looked the way it did, or seemed to have been designed with a one-phrase marketing slogan built into its DNA, until Apple brought it out.
There's also a marketed sense of space around Apple's concept-objects -- an idea of fresh air that people seem to have inhaled unthinkingly -- which consumers seem to identify with personal freedom, and which hinges on the paradox of branded individuality.
Google is addressing the success of Apple's hardware-software integration by serial-partnering with Asus, Samsung and (at first) HTC. Aesthetically, I'd prefer them to partner with Samsung exclusively, since S always has better screens than Asus. Or better, combine the optimization and feature-packed accessibility of Asus with the screens and keyboards of Samsung.
Either way, it's a more forward-thinking attack on Apple than Microsoft's. Google wants integration which is is more flexible than Apple's and potentially just as seamless for the user who *doesn't* need fresh-air marketing.
The test for Apple will be whether Jobs's successors can not only imitate his single-concept mindset in obsessiveness and inspiration but actually inhabit it.
Otherwise, they'll be in the same position as everyone else: The cautious heirs of someone else's success, carefully mimicking a dynamic tyro whose cult, history and legacy wealth are false clues to the secret of their former domination.