A decade of growth has vaulted Apple from the dust-bin of tech companies to the top of the list.
Recently, Apple's market capitalization (an accepted measure of size) passed the once-mighty Microsoft to become the largest tech company and the second largest company in the U.S. behind Exxon-Mobil.
This dramatic turnaround is the stuff of tech legends, but there is a larger issue here than just one company's success.
How did Apple shoot to the top, despite owning only 10 percent or so of the computer market?
Apple's business is almost exclusively focused on consumers (as opposed to businesses). It has a strong history of providing products that people didn't know they wanted, but once they see them, consumers become fiercely loyal.
Apple didn't invent smart phones with the introduction of the iPhone, however they re-defined the market by creating a new type of device that runs thousands of applications from the stupid to the brilliant. It also makes phone calls.
The point is Apple has focused on providing consumers a rich experience rather than bundles of products that while functional, often lack imagination.
Because Apple has chosen to retain strict control over software and hardware, it is doubtful its market share will rise dramatically.
The most important influence of Apple is forcing competitors to key on consumers and how they interact with tech products and services.
For investors, tech companies that share Apple's passion for user experience may be worth considering. There is probably another Apple out there.
(NOTE: Sorry for the cheeky and geeky headline.)