re: smart move
"now that it's become clear Apple's going to lose out to Android/Samsung pretty soon, this is the new approach?"
You're a bit off base. Although Apple's share of the smartphone handset market, isn't likely to rise - e.g. increase by 2% in the next four years, it'll be flogging 400% more phones. However, Apple isn't trying to dominate the smartphone market in terms of handsets shifted. If you look at the smartphone industry's figures for last year, 29% of total revenue went to Apple - although Nokia may be the market leader and had over twice the market share, it only had 20% of the industry revenue. In one quarter last year, half the profits of the entire smartphone industry was Apple's.
That's what Apple is doing - taking a smaller section of the market, but an extremely profitable one.
Although Android will be the main platform for smartphones, there will be loads of manufactuers trying to take a slice of the pie - but it'll be Google and Apple that have the biggest profits.