One of Steve Jobs’ biggest legacies was his decision to stop relying on 3rd party semiconductor companies and create an internal silicon design team. I would go so far as to argue it’s one of the three most important strategic decisions he ever made.
Steve Cheney does a great job exploring how Apple has set itself apart. It isn’t just a hardware or software company. Apple is a platform company.
How will this impact Apple moving into other markets, such as electric cars? Steve makes a few good points. Definitely check out his post.