[Alternative title: “Copying Ideas Has Always Been Fine”]
From an email by Steve Jobs in 2011:
[...] Strategy: catch up to Android where we are behind (notifications, tethering, speech, …)
And now (2014) from Apple internal slides:
(Translation: Smartphone sales growth is powered by devices that either cost less than $300 or have a screen bigger than 4''. Sounds like what Android vendors are offering and Apple is not)
Even if you are a loyal Apple customer and will never touch an Android phone, your iPhone is getting better with stuff that Android and its vendors get right. Then Apple copy those things, adapt them and you enjoy those too. It's good for you that Android exists.
Of course the reverse also happens and what Apple gets right is incorporated in the products of their competitors in due time. Everything is a remix.
That's the nature of competition. And it's good for everyone. So, when you hear people defending the intelectual property circus including trivial patents and software patents please remember what's better for you, for me, and for most people as a consumer.
The answer, most of the time, is competition. Including copies and remixes.