One of the most important lessons learned from Apple, was how important their model of vertical integration has been for their success. Of the top technology companies in the world, most of them are dedicated to software or hardware only. Apple is the only company that has successfully managed to be a hardware, software, services and retail company. This vertical integration has allowed for Apple to be able to control all of the critical paths of the supply chain for its product.
As the following article notes (http://techland.time.com/2011/07/01/why-competing-with-apple-is-so-difficult/) it is very difficult for other companies to try to compete with the Apple experience because while Apple has control over the hardware, software and services of their products, most other companies only control one of the components and depend on others for the rest.