>The main thrust of his point is still correct. Apple improve rather than invent. It's still innovation to some extent, but they don't invent new products or markets.
His main thrust to was to call 'nonsense' on the article's claim that Apple achieved mass market uptake of certain product types, then he concluded by talking about hardware specs (which are only meaningful with regards to user experience) and things being 'overpriced' (By what criteria? Certainly not overpriced with regards to market acceptance, as is proven by Apple's bottom line. Overpriced in terms of Bill of Materials? Er, no company sells products at a price equal to the BoM, unless they are getting a return on their investment in a different way, such as selling services on top).
It is a shame that his language distracted from some pertinent points. Nokia could indeed have brought an iPhone-like device to market first - but they tripped over themselves. Sony had all the engineering, manufacturing and UI talent to make an iPod-like device first, but they tripped over themselves.
Yes, Apple's approach to negotiating with the likes of record companies (iPod) and mobile network operators (iPhone) saw them in good stead (and is perhaps pertinent to this article), but it wasn't a one way street as Mage suggests - having a physical product that people actually wanted to buy helped Apple in their negotiations.
Mage suggested the article was being revisionist, but he used factually incorrect examples to make his point.
For the record, I've never owned any Apple kit, but I studied Product Design from '98-2001, during which time the iMac and iPod were released, and CAD solid modelling came down from the mainframe to land on the Windows desktop). I've had Sony Walkmen, CD Walkmen, Sharp MiniDisc player (with scrollwheel), an LG MP3 player with 32MB storage, a Creative Zen Jukebox (the iPod sized one, not the CD player-sized Nomad model), a Neuros, an Archos GMini, iRiver H320 (which I repaired by cannibalising the HDD from a dead iPod, and installed Rockbox on it), and many more. The iPod is damned fine piece of product and UI design, and the only reason I've never bought one is Apple's restricted file management and codec support - which is their prerogative. Just as it is my prerogative not to buy one if I don't want to.