“Back in my systems engineering days, I spent a lot of time evaluating competing vendors for subcontracts on systems or components. I would present my findings in a summary table that listed the key metrics and values for each competing vendor. Usually, I would color code the table entries according to a simple red/yellow/green grouping to reflect low/medium/high performance,” Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha. “This was the ‘rack and stack’ chart.”

“Generally, if a company doesn’t build the total smartphone, that’s viewed as a negative, and this is reflected in the ratings for Intel and Qualcomm,” Hibben writes. “Building the total smartphone doesn’t guarantee success (witness Microsoft), but it’s a prevailing characteristic of the successful smartphone companies. Being vertically integrated usually means higher profitability.”

“The predominantly green ratings for Apple certainly reflects my view of Apple’s competitive position. It’s a judgment call, and I’m sure there are plenty who would disagree with my assessments or the criteria I’ve chosen. But taking issue with the assessment has to be reconciled with Apple’s current smartphone profitability,” Hibben writes. “In other words, if you believe that Apple is not the strongest competitor in the smartphone industry, then why is it taking 94% of the industry profit? I’d like to see anyone try to make that reconciliation.”

Much more, including the chart, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple needs to continue pushing the envelope — not an easy task, especially when one is so dominant — but we believe Steve Jobs has instilled the necessary drive for Apple to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.