The main advantage is that the SoC engineers know exactly what devices they have to target years in advance.
And it’s just a few of them. That’s a huge advantage that no other SoC designer enjoys.
However, until Apple it didn’t matter. Their entry here is recent (besides their part in making ARM) and no other company was able to do what they did, because what you did last year impacts this year. You can’t just start and have a good product.
And scale? You need massive scale. And Apple did. First CPU domination, now with the A12 GPU domination as well as efficiency domination.
And it’s 1 month away to being outdated by Apple. Insane.
Now it’s about doing to the modem what they did to the cpu and gpu and efficiency. Apple is on clear trajectory to be perf/w kings for many many years. Qualcomm is in decline as a company and Samsung hit a wall.
Apple is putting SoCs on everything, even AirPods. Every single core is being improved and Apple branded. It’s fundamental.