Re: Extremely poor
You cannot take the exception which is the CPU (and now GPU) and state that they design "a lot" of components.
The correct answer is somewhere off-centre. Apple do indeed work well with industrial and product design etc, and do innovate well in this space.
However they don't do very much silicon barring some exceptions. No they do not write all the SW driving that silicon. They usually promise volume to suppliers and have them do the integration. Ask someone from Imagination.
What they indeed do very well is UI integration and user experience which is much further up the stack than drivers. And this I grant you they do exceptionally well - I'd argue bar none.
For the silicon they actually design, all I see are custom optimisations of technology that other vendors have proven or matured with their money. No *new* technology innovation has come from them, lots of very well done technology polish. And that isn't surprising, their r&d spend is amongst the lowest. Most of their in house grown features (not supplier sourced) are no-shows or poor - AirPower, Siri,
Not all the chips with an Apple logo are theirs - most are custom orders from other vendors. The cpus, gpu and airpod bluetooth are their inhouse designs. Of which the cpu is based from Arm tech, the gpu well was basically figured out from Imagination (apple wanted source code access).
Ultimately it is what you think the bar is to be called "innovative". The first person to make a fire was innovative, the one who copies it and then maybe used dry leaves too, sure improved things, but if you had to pick between the two?
Getting a benchmark leading cpu score by using +20% the die area isn't innovative, they just amortise that by moving the process node and putting it on premium tier to offset the cost. Their gpu real estate is massive.
Now if they did that with the same die area - indeed very innovative.
As to your point of vertical integration in Apple versus the ODM model elsewhere, well it keeps prices down so I'm not sure what the loss is. The stuff still ends up in my hands for less.