CNBC posted a great article last week suggesting that Apple’s tepid Q4 guidance would actually help the company’s stock in the long run.

Although it seems counterintuitive, I see plenty of evidence to support the idea. And I’ll even take it a step further: I predict that Apple’s overall performance over the next couple of quarters will create opportunities and benefits for many of its competitors.

For example, nobody expects Microsoft’s new dual-screen Android phone to suddenly leap ahead of the iPhone in sales. But the introduction of the new phone, called the Surface Duo, will definitely add sizzle to the market and spark more interest in all things related to smart devices.

From my perspective, this is an absolutely fascinating phenomenon – a self-generating tide that lifts all boats. Something like this never would have been possible before the emergence of the internet, social media and the global economy.

I included a brief item about Microsoft’s new phone in Friday’s Tech New Digest, mostly because the phone represents a major step forward for Microsoft. By accepting the reality of Android’s dominance as the world’s leading mobile operating system, Microsoft re-enters the smart phone market as a serious competitor with deep pockets and formidable R&D capabilities.

Microsoft is such a major player in the technology space that it’s impossible not believe that it won’t have a tangible impact on the smart phone market -- even if that impact seems minor at first glance.

That is the nature of capitalism, especially in the technology space. One innovation leads to another, and pretty soon everyone wants to newest device. Clearly, the Surface Duo was inspired at least in part by the Samsung Galaxy Fold. I think it’s a safe bet that Apple is also developing a two-screen phone, even though the company has made no formal announcements about having one in the works.

This brings me back to my initial point, which is that Apple’s steady performance over time is benefitting all tech makers, at virtually every level of competition. Sooner or later, many of the new features and capabilities introduced in smart phones will make their way into the products and services we use in our roles as technology executives.

That’s why the ongoing competition between Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Google and other tech companies matters – and why we need to pay close attention.

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