Google’s lineup of Assistant-equipped devices is just the tip of the iceberg. Apple made hardware cool.

After a strong start, their personal computers were quickly overwhelmed by the more powerful, more flexible and less expensive Windows-based PCs. Apple came roaring back with the iPod, the iPhone and a marketing campaign that convinced millions that portable technology platforms are a defining characteristic of personal identity.

Apple’s ads depicted iStuff owners as cool; Samsung ads portrayed them as clueless and pretentious. In a hardware-oriented world like this, the smartphone you carry defines you.

Software was an afterthought. It didn’t matter which web browser, email platform or music service you preferred as long as it ran on your hardware.

It didn’t matter if you used Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari, it mattered if you had an iPhone. Apple’s map app was so bad it quickly became a subject of ridicule. Read more from forbes.com…

thumbnail courtesy of forbes.com