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Apple Ecosystem Offers New Hope for Facebook and Yahoo!

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Today's fun fact comes from the analysts at Flurry. They say we're adopting devices -- phones and tablets -- at 10 times the rate we adopted PCs back in the 1980s, and twice the rate at which we adopted the Internet in the 1990s, as 9to5Mac reports .

I covered those first two booms. They were neat. If you understand that this one is taking place twice as fast as the last one, mostly around one company -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) -- then you understand why Apple is the most valuable company ever.

In covering this juggernaut most analysts point to Apple's network of suppliers and infrastructure companies, firms that depend on Apple for their success. The best-known of these companies is Foxconn, the Chinese assembly giant.

Whenever a new iDevice comes out folks like iFixit tear it apart looking for brand markings on the chips. One of the most important members of Apple's hardware ecosystem turns out to be Samsung, which just sank $3 billion to $4 billion into an Austin, Texas, chip plant supplying Apple, as Business Week details.

If Apple really wanted to hurt Samsung it wouldn't sue Samsung for damages, it would find a new chip supplier.

But now that there are millions and millions being served by iPads and iPhones, the ecosystem's reach is broadening. Just as with Windows a generation ago, there's now a large and growing app industry serving the Apple ecosystem, and all of these companies are to some degree dependent on Apple for their survival.

This offers new hope to some very large companies, hope that is being seized. Here are two examples, ripped from the headlines: Facebook (FB - Get Report) and Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report).

Before Facebook went public the chief criticism against it was its lack of a mobile strategy. People were even talking up a Facebook phone.

Well, Facebook has a mobile strategy. It's called the iPhone. As reports, Facebook is now rolling out tight integration among its services and iOS, as well as the OSX operating system used in Apple desktops.

With Facebook stock now struggling to hang on to $19 a share, half its offering price of May, something resembling a win is essential. Having the premier social network on the iPhone, with the tightest software integration, could do the trick. (Especially if the alternative is something like Google Plus.)
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