“Apple’s products are the envy of the world. They have been spectacularly successful and are widely imitated, if not copied,” Horace Dediu writes for Asymco. “The expectation that precedes a new Apple product launch is only matched by the expectation of the replication of those products by competitors.”

Dediu writes, “This cycle of product mimicry was succinctly summarized by Marc Andreessen regarding a rumored Apple TV product: ‘And once the television launches, everyone will scramble to copy it. ”There’s a pattern in our industry, Apple crystallizes the product, and the minute Apple crystallizes it, then everyone knows how to compete.'”

Dediu writes, “This idea that the basis of competition is set by Apple and then the race is on to climb the trajectory of improvement is so well understood that it’s axiomatic: “It’s just the way things are.” Apple releases a product that defines a category or disrupts an industry and it becomes obvious what needs to be built. But what I wonder is why there isn’t a desire to copy Apple’s product creation process. Why isn’t the catalyst for a new category or disruption put forward by another company? More precisely, why isn’t there another company which consistently re-defines categories and repeatedly, predictably even, re-defines how technology is used. Put another way: Why is it that everyone wants to copy Apple’s products but nobody wants to copy being Apple?”

Much more – highly recommended – in the full article here.