They keep defying gravity when it comes to share price, innovation and growth. But how do they do it?
Well, its simple.
Steve Jobs while at Pixar gained an appreciation for digital media and recognised early that the entire media landscape was about to go through a once in a lifetime seismic shift. And that shift was one where the creation of media, that used to be funded and controlled by a small band of elite, corporate film studios, TV networks and analogue publishers, would be unlocked.
The content creators of tomorrow would be EVERYONE, professional and amateur alike, each producing to their level, with personal creativity and drive the only boundary.
So, when he returned to Apple half a dozen years ago, he set about providing consumers with the new media tools that almost anyone could use. Hence they launched powerful iMacs with a suite of moron-proof, digital creation and management software called iLife.
Then he looked at the gandets that would transform the media capture process and ensured that they all just "plugged-in" to Apple devices like a power cable plugs into the wall. Camcorders, cameras, Hi-Fi's etc.
Then he threw Apple engineers and the Apple brand behind the hardware devices that would take digital media everywhere. First up they developed the broadband PC and laptop, then the iPod, then the Airport Wi-Fi/music station, then iTV, then the iPhone (to be launched January 2007).
So, now Apple has armed the pro-sumer to create tomorrow's digital content, delivering it direct to consumers via iTunes, blogging, iWeb, YouTube, MySpace, Flickr etc.
And that just leaves Google to provide the digital tools for the mass market amateur.