Don't get me wrong. It isn't going anywhere, and for Baby Boomers, and anyone who grew up with a keyboard, Apple will be your 'transitional item' (aka. blankey) that you can grip white-knuckled to cope with your fear of technology.
Yes, you will definitely fear technology as it advances. The pace is increasing all the time, we all know that. But that pace will become frighteningly fast and the only ones who will be able to keep up are the children born into the Touch generation.
Apple brought about this revolution, but it can't control it, and more to the point of this post, it cannot keep up with it.
Google is no angel, and yes, they do Evil, they're a corporation, but they get Beta and they get iteration in a way that is beyond the Apple mindset of pursuing perfection.
Perfection is something you work on when something is timeless, like art or music. Technology cannot be perfected because perfection requires reflection and pacing.
People don't actually perceive speed -- the Earth is hurtling through space at an unimaginable pace but it goes unnoticed. We perceive acceleration. When something is accelerating quickly our brain says "wow that's fast!" If a car accelerates slowly from 100 mph to 120 mph over the course of even 10 seconds, we won't notice the change at all, but if it accelerates from 100 to 120 in under 3 seconds, we'll think it's going 150 mph.
The acceleration of technological advance is going to leave us breathless. Apple's strive for perfection is going to seem downright plodding in the coming years. This will be a tremendous comfort to all those who are scared of this breakneck pace, but to those who are born into it, ADD won't begin to describe how they will fidget with impatience.
Google doesn't understand people, nor does it understand art, but it understands algorithms and code better than anyone else in the world. It iterates almost flawlessly. The best way to keep up with the kind of technological change we are talking about is to iterate. as. fast. as. you. can.
Safari, Explorer, and Firefox just cannot keep up with Chrome's rate of iteration. This is the writing on the wall.
You know what tipped me off: The Xoom. It's a crummy tablet; better than any other android tablet out there, but still crummy, not even close to the iPad 2. Did you see what Google did with the Xoom at Google I/O? Maybe you missed it. It wasn't anything spectacular, but it was a symbol of things to come. Google is being held back by the hardware, by the OEMs. As soon as something half-decent shipped, they started surging forward. For every millimeter of progress the Android OEMs make, Google will be leaping forward.
Apple's only hope is to learn to iterate faster. Even so, no matter how fast it iterates, it can't keep up with a company who never plans to make it out of Beta. Google will perfect nothing, and that is, sadly, what is going to leave Apple in the dust.
I'm a little sad for what we are going to lose along the way.