Each of the major technology giants in the Apple sphere of influence have their own management, development, and marketing styles. Yes, everyone steals from one another, though Google, Microsoft, and Samsung are more blatant about it than Apple.
Apple designs and builds computers, smartphones, tablets, apps and services that work well together in a cohesive ecosystem. Google is a search engine advertising company that dabbles in technology. Microsoft makes money on Windows, Office, and royalties from Android device sales, and not much else. Samsung is a technology conglomerate, a goliath that sells everything from washers and dryers to smartphones to chips.
Trials and tribulations aside, each of these companies does business much as they always have.
What would happen if Apple decided to conduct business the way Google, Microsoft, and Samsung conduct business?
First, Apple would launch Apple Search, a proprietary search and advertising business that would immediately dwarf Yahoo! and Bing in the mobile segment of technology, just based on the number of iOS devices that use the web. Out with Google, Yahoo! and Bing. In with Apple Search.
Apple has the money and technical chops to do search Apple’s way and the impact would be immediate and serious (especially on Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft’s respective stock prices).
Second, Apple would port iWork apps– Pages, Numbers, and Keynote– to Windows and Android, along with FaceTime and Messages. Yes, that would be a stupid thing to do and of little benefit to Apple, but can you tell me how Google benefits from apps on iOS? How does Microsoft benefit by putting apps on Android and iOS? No one makes much money doing that, but Apple has more money than Google, Microsoft, and Samsung combined, so why not?
Third, unlike the trio of titans it competes against, Apple has enough money to go on a really big shopping spree. What would Apple buy up? Chip foundries, screen and display companies, device manufacturing companies, and the entire television and movie industries. Hey, Amazon and Netflix are funding original content, so what better way to compete in an area where it doesn’t belong than buying the whole shebang, and leaving each segment to rot on the vine, right?
That’s what Google, Microsoft, and Samsung tend to do with their purchases.
For whatever the reasons, and I suspect fear is a motivator, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung feel the need to involve themselves in any business segment that touches their core operations. After spending many tens of billions to diversify, Google and Microsoft are much what they’ve always been. The former a search engine advertising company with a technology hobby, and the latter a purveyor of a moribund PC operating system and office suite (both in decline). At least Samsung was a diversified conglomerate before deciding to steal designs from Apple and compete against a customer.
Conversely, what would happen if Google, Microsoft, and Samsung decided to conduct business the way Apple does? Despite deriving an increasing percentage of revenue and profits from the iPhone, Apple is a diversified company with many very profitable product lines.
That’s what Google, Microsoft, and Samsung have been trying to do for years.