Here’s How Apple Stays On Top

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) recipe for success is two parts innovative and intuitive technologies, one part subtle manipulation. One need only look at the revolution begun by the iPod a decade ago, or the iPad in 2010, for evidence of the former, while the latter is perhaps best demonstrated by a thoughtful acquisition Apple made earlier this year.

Apple acquired app discovery service Chomp back in February. The website and app — yes, there’s an app that helps you find apps — used to feature search services for three separate categories: iPhone, iPad, and Android. Users could search for trending apps, free apps, apps on sale, Twitter apps, all-time greats, and thousands of other apps and categories for their Apple and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android devices using the simple service. But all that changed when Apple got its hands on the Chomp.

Chomp for Android seems to have been discontinued. A quick visit to the Chomp website shows that users now only have two options for devices: iPhone and iPad. Of course, the change will give Chomp’s rival app discovery platforms a leg up, but Apple doesn’t seem quite so concerned about that, not does it seem to care what will happen to Chomp’s deal with Verizon (NYSE:VZ), a carrier that supports both iPhone and iPad data plans, and pays Apple a hefty sum each year by subsidizing the price of the former for its contract customers. Verizon actually rebuilt its¬†VCast App Store in September using Chomp to power discovery.

What Apple does care about is making its products even more user-friendly and ubiquitous while quietly edging out the competition. Much in the way brand name Kleenex became synonymous with facial tissues (who says facial tissues these days?) Apple’s iPod has become synonymous with mp3 players (just try to name another mp3 player), and with roughly a quarter of the smartphone market and more than four-fifths of the tablet market, Apple looks to be aiming for that same pervasiveness with the iPhone and iPad as well. And so far, that strategy seems to be working…