TAIPEI — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) Chairman Morris Chang said yesterday that Apple Inc. has built a unique ecosystem that has helped to consolidate its lead over its competitors. In a special column of the Chinese-language Economic Daily News, Chang said Apple has not only created many milestones with its sales of iPod, iPhone and iPad, but has also introduced innovations to enhance user experience. The iPod changed the way people listen to music and altered the face of competition in the music player industry, he said. The iPhone, which has sold more 100 million units in the past four years, expanded the functions of a mobile phone from just voice calls with the addition of a touch screen, he noted. Meanwhile, since the iPad was launched in 2010, it has taken nearly 80 percent of tablet PC sales worldwide, Chang said. “The success of Apple products can be attributed to many factors, including the company’s creativity and the fast expansion of its stores, he said. “But the key factor is the ecosystem into which Apple has put so much effort, integrating application developers, performers, music companies, the media, publishers and its supply chain,” Chang said.
He noted that Apple’s iTunes and iCloud services have served to expand its ecosystem, which in turn “has broadened consumers’ reliance on the company.” Although Google’s Android operating system is an open platform for mobile electronics products, it still falls short in competition with Apple because it has a smaller ecosystem, he said. “The business competition at present has shifted from products to entire industrial ecosystems,” Chang said. “A comprehensive ecosystem will be the key to winning the battle.” He suggested that the semiconductor industry follow Apple’s lead and build its own ecosystem to speed up innovations in the entire supply chain and to create added value among its partners. In addition, companies in the semiconductor industry have to work at full speed to improve technologies in order to maintain a market lead and make higher profits, Chang said.