Given the fact that Facebook has built its own cloud to host its service, and that it has worked to build its own infrastructure of Facebook apps, it could easily extend success within the Apple ecosystem to its own partners, helping them while helping itself, and Apple.
Then there's Yahoo!.
Yahoo!'s chief assets are a wealth of content -- news, business, and sports especially - and its own cloud. The Hadoop "big data" project actually originated at Yahoo!. Delivering cutting-edge content apps based on Yahoo! content, delivered through Yahoo!'s cloud, could be just the thing for turning that struggling stock around.Also, while the Apple iCloud is based on Microsoft's (MSFT) Azure architecture, Yahoo! is using open industry standards. Success with its own apps, in other words, could lead it to contracts hosting other firms' apps. Since Apple does not want to build multiple clouds, it might embrace this. As any platform grows, it becomes an ecosystem, then an industry, with the creator of the platform at its center. But there is always plenty of money sloshing around to mean big profits for many other companies, especially after the platform becomes established. Facebook and Yahoo! seem to be betting their futures on that. History says it's not a bad bet. At the time of publication, the author had positions in YHOO, MSFT and AAPL. This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.