Apple’s success in recent years has largely been due to its ability to design and create products that appeal to wide variety of users, from tech enthusiasts to mainstream consumers to business users.
Other companies have tried to emulate Apple’s designs and its successes, resulting in numerous MacBook Air and MacBook Pro look-alikes in recent years and various parts of the OS X design incorporated into the Windows platform. (This goes both ways: While Microsoft has copied features like Spotlight, Stickies, and Widgets, Apple cribbed the Finder sidebar and the back and forward buttons in Finder from Windows.)
But the iPhone has been something truly remarkable from the start; it redefined the smartphone market almost overnight upon its arrival in 2007. Having done so, however, Apple has found it increasingly harder to stay ahead of Android-based rivals, who have mimicked features in iOS and even moved ahead of Apple in some areas. Microsoft, on the other hand, entered the smartphone market late, leaving it far behind the competition.