Apple tends to let others release new "innovations" first, and then released improved versions of those innovations that are more stable and easier to use.
People seem to forget that Apple didn't invent the smartphone, or even the first smartphone with a touch screen. Microsoft had "Windows Mobile" products years before Apple, but they were unstable and difficult to use. They basically were a mess because they tried to cram a Windows XP style UI onto a 3.5" screen.
Same deal with the tablet. There were plenty of touch screen tablets before the iPad came out, but most of them had a crummy UI and lousy battery life. Apple fixed most of those issues.