development secrecy, hyper optimization, supplier negotiating power
So… making chips serves as the moat around untold strategic advantages: development secrecy, hyper optimization, supplier negotiating power, etc. And all the while smartphone market volume serves as ‘R&D lead gen’ for new products in entirely new industries (tablet, watch, TV, car). By owning its own silicon design team, Apple is able to leap into other markets which will be eaten by software running on cheap silicon.
Let’s go on a thought experiment and predict the future here. Actually let’s end on facts because we can’t. But one thing is very clear: we are entering an era where cars will become smart, navigate by themselves and autonomously courier people and goods. And just as computing spawns a different set of winners every decade, you can bet the next set of car makers will look much different than today’s. Google, Uber and Tesla will all be involved… And although we know almost nothing of Apple’s plans, they’ve built the platform foundation which gives them a chance to delight and inspire us, like only Apple can.