It cracks me up how people act like Apple and anything it does is like the second coming of Christ.
I think this also ignores the fact of where Apple was prior to the iPod. It was nothing more than a niche player that almost went bankrupt had it not been for investments by others like Microsoft.
I'd say the only innovative thing Apple did was the iPod. That was disruptive.
Computers? Always focused more on the cool than functional. MacOS up until OS X was a horrid OS. I cringed every time I had to work on it. OS X was a much better OS, but it's largely BSD with a fancier, easy to use GUI. They later switched to Intel based platforms, so aside from the software and the looks, you're running the same hardware as any other PC. Well, maybe with hardware a year or two behind a competing PC.
iPhone? Not as disruptive as people think. Apple largely rode the success of the iPod here and created a phone that was hardware wise, behind the competition. It created an easy to use system, but pretty much the iPhone was just an iPod with a phone in it. You were stuck with EDGE communication which was as bad as a 56k modem while the rest of the country was on 3G. Smartphones had been around for years at this point, and their predecessor PDAs had been around for quite awhile before that. Windows Mobile sucked for sure, and Microsoft missed the boat in doing something better. Windows Phone was about 3 years too late. Every iteration since the original iPhone has been an incremental improvement over the previous, with hardware features that were easily 12-18 months behind competing platforms.
Android had been in development sine 2005. People always point to the iPhone outselling the competition. What they forget is that Android as a whole easily outsells Apple, and Samsung now sells more phones than Apple. That doesn't even take into account HTC, Nokia, LG, Motorola, etc. Samsung also provides more choice than Apple. You want a phablet? Take the Note. Want a phone? Take a Galaxy S variant, or anything HTC offers. Want a truly innovative tablet? Take a Note Tablet or The Nexus 7 (how's that for affordability and features?)? What choice does Apple offer? This year or last year's model, plus your storage capacity. Big whoop.
Instead of competing on merits, Apple prefers to sue everyone. If you can't innovate, you litigate. Apple isn't much more than a patent troll that's resting on its laurels these days.
Tablets? An old concept Apple improved upon. Tablets were around in 2002 and 2003. They didn't catch on then, but that was largely due to the tech not being ready. WinXP wasn't the best platform for it either. Apple didn't really do anything innovative here - just made a bigger iPod.
iTunes? You either love it or you hate it. Personally, I hate the arrogance of the program that thinks it can organize my media better than I can, and won't allow me to change it back. I also don't like how it tries to take over your computer.
Apple TV? HTPCs have been around for ages. Apple packaged its solution up in a cute box. Big deal.
Anyway, you get my point.
Bottom line is this: Apple knows its target market very well, and sells to them. These are people who were largely Apple fans, and people easily swayed by them without actually taking a lot at the competition. If you want a tightly controlled product that works well and looks cool, but isn't the most technologically advanced, you buy an Apple. If you want to buy essentially the same product year after year with incremental updates, you buy an Apple. If you want freedom, choice, and newer tech, you buy something else.
Apple loves people that will keep buying essentially the same products over and over. My hat's off to them for figuring out how to do that.
Buying Apple (or any other brand really) is like buying Hondas every time you go to buy a car. You can be perfectly happy with the purchase, and so much so that you won't look at other options. However, it also blinds you to other options that may be a better fit, a better value, or a better product. I may be less than satisfied with a given product from a manufacturer, but I'm also free to find another product for the same vendor or find something from someone else. I'm not stuck with the take-it-or-leave-it option Apple provides.
I just had to chuckle about the old 1984 Apple commercial with the guy throwing the hammer at the monitor of Big Brother to try to wake up the Drones. Ironic how a lot of Apple fans have turned into those same drones.