Thanks for this!
I've worked for many years doing interface design for some very big companies. What's almost universal is the awestruck reverence for Apple's design chops. It nicely combines corporate culture's respect for hierarchy with capitalism's tendency to let others innovate so as to avoid risk. The point is, people expect Apple to have gotten it right, and then copy them (as far as the budget allows) on the belief that their design work is the gold standard.
I don't expect this attitude to change just because the quality of Apple's design work has changed. Once people start playing follow-the-leader, the leader no longer has to worry about earning their position. A deterioration of the quality of Apple's design work will have repercussions well beyond Apple's products and customers.