I may be reading too much into it, but Apple looks to have come up with a strategy to pass Microsoft in the next ten years. They are linking their phone, music, and PC business together to form an unavoidable platform in a way that has not been done since Microsoft put together the office suite and windows. It’s unfortunate that this is all being done on the flawed Mach base, but it probably doesn’t matter. The killer advantages Apple brings are all centered around their ability to runover the middlemen and reach out directly to paying customers. In the cell phone market, where billions have been spent trying to win over operators and the main phone makers, Apple has ignored all the standards bodies and consortia and operator specs and produced something end-customers demand. Same with itunes and the bitterly complaining music industry. Instead of thinking like a subcontractor, Apple thinks like a market innovator.