I fully admit to being an Apple devotee all my life, it runs in the family, and we had some bad times, when you sounded like a crazy person trying to explain to people the advantages of a system that was no longer innovating the way it once had, and therefore competitors (read: imitators) were catching up.
Truth is, imitating innovation is a fairly solid business strategy, if you have the reach of 90 percent of the market, staying one step behind is pretty good considering the potential costs of innovation. The literal, monetary ones, and most crucially, the chance you could be wrong. You might produce something that isn't ready for the public, or that the public isn't ready for (like Apple's Newton for instance, on both accounts).
The rebirth of Apple has been like a rescue fleet for those of us drifting in the sea of PC hegemony in our special little boats, desperately trying to explain to people that they don't need to tread the briny water, they don't NEED to fight with what was supposed to be a tool of work and creation, an augmentation of our own abilities to help us do what alone would be impossible. iTunes, iPods and all their iterations have given people a glimpse into our world, of intuitive functioning that works the way people work, not the way programmers work.
We could now walk with their heads held high, but what's better is what it has done for everyone who WASN'T always an Apple lover. I just finished Issacson's tremendously fair and beautifully written biography on Steve Jobs, and one of the points that hit me was that since 2000, and the Apple rebirth, PC sales have only wained a paltry 1%, while Apple says have raised 28%, which can only mean that Apple isn't really taking many users from PC, they're bringing in NEW ones, people who didn't own or use computers before now have the advantage of this amazing tool we all so adore.
Point is, and perhaps Mr. Jobs and we, his acolytes, have been bad at getting this across, it's not about stealing programing code, or even an idea. It's about having a vision for the future and actively pursuing it, for putting products and innovation first. When you take all the risks, those riding on your back can be frustrating, especially when they get bigger than you, but it is difficult to argue with the results. Apple, a company run in many ways contrary to what most American companies consider business fundamentals, is now at the top of the world.
Something to consider as we try to find a way out of this economic mess built in no small part by American companies following "business fundamentals" right down the drain.
Products first, the consumers and their hard earned dollars will come, and you will have gained their trust along the way.