Following the launch of the iPhone it went from being dismissed as a toy to being targeted for extinction to being copied for relevance.

Eight years later and, while none of those tactics have benefited direct competitors in the long term, the existence of the iPhone has lifted complementary businesses and created new ones. Horace Dediu, writing for Asymco:

Searching for "iPhone killer" returns millions of hits. It's hard to remember any phone/product/service/platform/initiative/merger/startup which was not at some point considered an iPhone killer. A sampling is offered here.

In reality, the killers seem to have all faded away while the iPhone continues. We could just shake our heads and move on, but a deeper analysis is possible. Take a look at the graph above. Note that iPhone's (and hence Apple's) ascent has not caused decline in its nominal competitors. When seen in the context of the graph above, the success of the iPhone has in fact been complementary to those companies who would be its killers.

When Apple hired Google to provide services for the iPhone and Samsung to provide manufacturing, it not only provided significant revenue for both companies but essentially taught them how to make a modern phone. Both used that knowledge to compete with Apple as well, Google with Android and Samsung with Galaxy. Even now, both still have jobs, as a service provider and a manufacturer, and both still earn significant revenue from Apple's customers or from having Apple as a customer.

The graphs Dediu supplies, along with his breakdown of the benefits for everyone from Amazon to Uber are fascinating.