BusinessWeek’s 2010 Most Innovative Company: Apple Inc. (#1 for sixth consecutive year)

ThinkGeek Use Your Brain“In the 2010 Bloomberg BusinessWeek annual rankings of Most Innovative Companies, 15 of the Top 50 are Asian—up from just five in 2006. In fact, for the first time since the rankings began in 2005, the majority of corporations in the Top 25 are based outside the U.S. Asia’s newfound confidence is turning up everywhere you look, from wind turbines to high-speed bullet trains, just two of the technologies China is trying to export to the U.S.,” Michael Arndt and Bruce Einhorn report for BusinessWeek. “‘We are the most advanced in many fields,’ Zheng Jian, director of high-speed rail at China’s railway ministry, told The New York Times in April. ‘And we are willing to share with the U.S.'”

Arndt and Einhorn report, “The U.S., of course, still has its innovators. Apple remains No. 1, followed by perennial first runner-up Google. But just ahead of General Electric in seventh and eighth places are newcomers LG Electronics of South Korea and BYD, with Korea’s Hyundai Motor claiming a spot at 22.”

“The extended Top 50 list is dominated by companies from Europe, Asia, and, in another first, South America (Petrobrás (PBR) of Brazil at No. 41),” Arndt and Einhorn report. “China’s rise is biggest. A year ago its only representative was PC-maker Lenovo Group (LNVGY), at 46. This year Greater China is tied with Asia’s postwar powerhouse, Japan, thanks to showings by BYD, Haier Electronics (27), Lenovo (29), China Mobile (CHL) (44), and Taiwan-based HTC (47). The age of Asian innovation has begun.”

Arndt and Einhorn report, “To make room for these newcomers to the Top 25, which also include Intel and Ford Motor from the U.S. and Virgin Group from Britain, past winners Honda Motor, Reliance Industries, McDonald’s, Walt Disney, and Vodafone all got pushed to lower slots on the Top 50, while AT&T dropped off entirely. ‘We’re starting to see the beginning of a new world order,'” says James P. Andrew, a senior partner at Boston Consulting Group and head of its global innovation practice.”

Full article here.

The Top 10 from BusinessWeek’s 50 Most Innovative Companies 2010 list:
1. Apple
2. Google
3. Microsoft
4. IBM
5. Toyota Motor
7. LG Electronics
8. BYD
9. General Electric
10. Sony

See the full list here.

MacDailyNews Take: What’s amazing is that Apple is such a strong innovator that Google and Microsoft can nab the #2 and #3 spots simply by following Apple at a distance.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Look at one two and three. Masters of innovation, number one is changing the way we understand mobile computing with handheld devices, number two is copying everything number one does and number three is bringing us the kin (the greatest phone 2002 has Ever seen).

  2. M$ at #3 ??

    M$ should get praise from Green Peace for being the greenest company in the whole industry. Because M$ like to ‘Recycle’ all the old technology, nothing really new and exciting from them.

  3. One would presume that a company deemed “innovative” would be actively, you know, innovating. So for the benefit of us who may have missed something, can anyone provide three major innovations that Microsoft has delivered in even the last three years?

  4. If you look at Google’s ‘Labs’ projects, you must admit that their ideas, not just individually but also together, don’t have a realistic competitor out there. All of their stuff, from Google Docs, to Google Translate, to Earth, Shopping, Calendar, Mail, Blogs, Picasa, Sites, Groups, Talk… it’s all fairly tightly integrated.

    We can argue with vigor and conviction about the Big Brother element of this all (and arguments are most certainly valid), but nobody can deny that the concepts are innovative and immensely practical for users.

    As for the MS, I guess the only reason they’re no. 3 is for copying Apple…

  5. Apple should sue them for putting apple in the top 3 spots with Microsoft and google, is better to not show in any list if they are going to say that the biggest copy cats are almost like you.

  6. @ jax44

    Yeah, I just about farted when I saw that. Please esplaino to me why Microsoft who comes out with Turtle, Pink, Zune, Kin 1 and Kin2 can be considered innovative and be #3? LOL

  7. innovate |ˈinəˌvāt|
    verb [ intrans. ]
    make changes in something established, esp. by introducing new methods, ideas, or products

    How does the above describe Microsoft in any way? Unless, they consider failed products as being innovative. And I’m being serious and not just an Apple fan.

    Please… can someone enlighten me with an example or two (if possible) of successful new methods, ideas, or products in recent years that can even remotely be considered innovative?

    3rd most innovative company in the world? I must be living in the twilight zone.

  8. @ Raymond in DC,

    “provide three major innovations that Microsoft has delivered in even the last three years”

    1) The XBox 360 Red Ring of Death.

    2) Vista’s and Windows 7’s Black Screen of Death.

    3) The 2 kin cell phones (the 2 greatest phones 2002 has ever seen).

  9. It’s BUSINESS Week, not TECH Week.
    They don’t primarily mean technologically innovative, though I’m sure that figures in. They mean innovative as a business.

    The fact that Apple is both seems to have thrown some people here.

  10. I scanned the article looking for what criteria had been used to evaluate innovation thinking perhaps it was based on numbers of patents granted.

    Found that BusinessWeek had relied on Boston Consulting Group to do the rankings. Went to the BCG site and found… well, nothing of relevance.

    Have I missed something? Anyone know what criteria was used for the rankings?

  11. The US has lost its way in many areas of excellence due to the incompetence of politicians and Wall Street money grabbers. Americans want the easy way out. They want to have more of everything without realizing that it is not sustainable in the long run. Instead of being productive, they became manipulative and based more and more of their national decision-making on speculative means.

    Most of corporate America are led by the nose on Wall Street’s wisdom and consequently many of them lost their shirts on their back. Not only has Wall Street failed many companies, but it also bankrupted America as evidenced by the 2008 economic crisis. There are very few companies, like Apple, that consistently ignore Wall Street’s advice and go against the national trend and survive fabulously. Take this as an example, Nokia has 80% of the world’s phone market and Apple has less than 10%, but Apple’s profit from mobile phones is more than Nokia’s profit.

    I don’t see America regaining it’s preeminence any time soon. If the trend towards mediocrity continues, I am afraid that the disintegration of the American federation will become a reality in my lifetime.

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