In this article about google entering the consumer hardware industry they compare the supposed strengths of Apple consumer electronics to what google has done in the past, particularly google tv, and their gen 1 honeycomb tablets. Here is the thing, there is no question that the first iteration of google tv, and many many many, of the gen 1 tablets left much to be desired. In addition there is no question that in some respects google is playing catch up but from those points the author leaps to this:
Shipping finished products that customers love? Apple products are designed with the customer experience top of mind — Steve Jobs famously said that Apple doesn’t listen to customers first, it figures out what they should want and then goes and builds that. Google is infamous for releasing half-finished products like Music and Google TV, slapping a beta label on them, then gradually improving them over time. That works fine with free Internet services. It does not work with products that you’re trying to sell for hundreds of dollars. (Need evidence? Spend an hour with an Androidtablet that hasn’t been updated to Ice Cream Sandwich.)
Apple clearly pushes the industry forward in many ways. The original imac was the first device to get rid of floppy drives which, while derided at the time, was a necessary break from the past. There is just so much Apple washing in our tech media that it denies the innovation by other tech companies who always get accused of ripping off Apple. Innovations like universal search was pioneered by Palm on the Pre, the notification bar and voice search were introduced on Android. These were adopted by Apple in revisions to much critical acclaim but they are still adaptations of features that appeared on other innovative platforms that the press took as Apple creations. The point is every company does this, they test new products in markets and iterate to make them commercially viable. Contrary to what they want you to believe Apple really doesn’t think different.