Apple Computer

Apple Computer's introduction of the snazzy iPods music players in 2001 has led to a surge in its popularity.

Think Different. One of the most successful slogans in Apple Computer's history, these two words effectively sum up the company.

Apple has always prided itself on its innovation, and its domination of the portable music player market bears testament to that.

Apple has certainly come a long way since its inception by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, two young college dropouts, in 1976. From Apple I, the company's first computer which the duo sold at US$666, Apple has grown into a global company generating revenues of more than US$8 billion in 2004 under the stewardship of CEO Jobs.

While primarily a computing company, with its desktops (Power Mac, iMac, Mac mini, eMac), notebooks (Powerbook, iBook), servers (Xserv), wireless network equipment (Airport Extreme, Airport Express) and software (Macintosh OS, iWork), Apple's strategic move into the music arena has proven to be its coup de grace.

With the introduction of the snazzy iPod music players in 2001 and the digital music store via iTunes in 2004, Apple has since sold some 16 million units of player, creating a halo effect for its computers. This has led to an average of 222 percent jump in year-on-year net income for Apple from 2001 to 2004.

Some analysts are doubtful about Apple's future, pointing to the lackluster sales of the Mac Mini despite it being the least expensive Mac machine, and its decision to switch from IBM's PowerPC microprocessor to those made by Intel.

But if there is anything to believe of Apple, it is that the company will endeavor to create more "one more thing…" moments.