Simple. It's their secret sauce.
Most of us were introduced to Apple, Inc. by the iBook. Then we were magnetized by the iPod. Then, the iPhone captured our imagination. However, its not only the products that work.
The secret sauce? Its actually four diverse and thriving companies all wrapped up into one. It's a hardware company, a software company, a services company, and a retail company. Most technology companies in the world can manage one or two of these disciplines, but only Apple has all four entities working in harmony.
On the other hand most other PC, smartphone and tablet vendors make the hardware (Dell, Toshiba, Motorola, Samsung, etc), put someone else's software on it (Windows and Android), add third party services (Google, carrier services, etc.) and then sell it through someone else's store (carrier retail stores, Best Buy, etc.)
"Competing with a company as vertically integrated as Apple means that PC and consumer electronics companies can, at best, compete with Apple in only one or two disciplines. While they might be able to create similar hardware, their lack of control of the operating systems as well as the services that are tied to these operating systems gives them little control over their markets. And no vendor has shown so far that it can compete with Apple in retail."
So for Apple competitors, pick your poison.
Entry # 11