Although Apple is mega rich and has rapidly become the most valuable technology company in the world, thanks mainly to the iPhone and iPad, it is also in danger of extinction because of the way it functions.

As a closed system - you must buy your applications from Apple, the operating system is locked down by Apple, and there is no room for customisation above and beyond what Apple allows - it is historically doomed to fail.

Speaking at the inaugural Forward with Ford Futuring and Trends Conference in Dearborn, Michigan, US, tech expert and Gear and Technology editor at NBC's Today Show, Paul Hochman, explained that closed systems in nature and beyond ultimately die out: "Apple’s in big trouble. They’re sitting on piles of cash, but they are sitting on a closed system. In biology, in history, a closed system never survives," he said.

And it's not the only company at risk. Applying the same logic to motor cars, or specifically the entertainment system inside, Hochman bemoaned Ford's rivals' decisions to lock down tech in a vehicle that might be owned for five years or more: "General Motors has a closed system. Essentially, it bolts a phone into the car." With no chance of upgrading the hardware itself, even though entertainment and communication technology moves on quickly.

It is for this reason that he applauds Ford for adopting an open system with its MyFord Touch and SYNC Applink technologies. Both of them are fully (and regularly) upgradable in software terms, and rely on an external handset (iPhone, Android, etc) for communication and, even, app support.

As an open system, it allows you to swap in and swap out elements as you see fit, and even run applications from your external device on the in-car screen. Plus, if you upgrade your handset to a 4G phone, for example, you can use its faster connectivity. The GM version is locked to the specification originally sold.

Essentially, the capabilities of your Ford in-car system, therefore, can be supercharged by the addition of a third-party device.

Could you imagine Apple allowing that?

What do you think? Is Apple's closed system doomed in the long run? Let us know in the comments below...