Nice thoughts, comparing different ecosystems and when they succeed.
Ecosystem: the winner takes it all
An ecosystem is more than just what apps you run, or what digital goods can be bought on a device; it's also the open or closed standards you support for application development, APIs, peripherals and connectors. The way your device communicates with other devices, and the way your ecosystem communicates with other ecosystems, is a fundamental decision that every company dealing in digital goods, both hardware and software, has to make. I think there are a few equally valid approaches for a company to take when building an ecosystem, but there are some important qualifiers. Let's discuss.
I think the dominant trend in the industry right now is what I'd call the "Apple Way." Apple has always loved having its closed off little ecosystems...