apple-campus-cw BusinessWeek and Fortune have both released their annual rankings — the 50 Most Innovative Companies and the Fortune 500, respectively — and Apple has strong showings in both publications.

For the sixth consecutive year, Apple ranked number one in BusinessWeek’s 50 Most Innovative Companies report. When you consider that BusinessWeek only started this ranking system in 2005, that statistic becomes even more impressive. James Andrew, senior partner and head of global innovation at Boston Consulting Group (the company that provides the data to BusinessWeek) claims that every year Apple is the “hands down winner,” although Google remains a strong second. Furthermore, when those surveyed were asked what company would replace Apple as the most innovative over the next five years, the most common response was “no one.”

See the video from BusinessWeek below for more insight into the changes and trends among the most innovative companies of 2010.

Apple Gains Ground in Fortune 500

In the annual Fortune 500 rankings, Apple is ranked 56, up 15 places from last year. That sort of move is impressive for any company, but Apple is also gaining major ground in its own industry.

In its designated industry, Computers, Office Equipment, Apple remains in third place behind Hewlett-Packard and Dell, but unlike every other company in its category, it saw an increase in revenues and profits between 2008 and 2009.

If you extrapolate that even further and compare Apple to the Top 10 companies in the Fortune 500, Apple outperformed every other company in terms of increases in revenues and profits — except J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America. Just remember that Apple didn’t get $45 billion in TARP money.


While Apple faces stiffer competition in the mobile sector, the company continues to not only meet but beat estimates every quarter and gains in revenue and profit margin.

We think that the Boston Consulting Group partner makes a good point in the BusinessWeek video: Innovation is more than just being something new, it’s being something that is successful. Apple is sometimes criticized for not being an inventive company, i.e. they don’t create completely new ideas or products. The iPad, for instance, builds off of not only Apple’s own history with touchscreen devices like the iPhone and the iPod touch, but also on tablet computing devices that go back literally decades. However, what makes a company like Apple (and Google) innovative is not that it creates something completely new every single time, but that it is able to iterate designs, devices and functionality so that products are popular with consumers and successful financially.

What do you think of the BusinessWeek and Fortune 500 rankings for 2010? Let us know in the comments.