By way of addendum to my previous post, may I echo the sentiments of Tim O'Reilly that Apple is indeed a true technology company in a rapidly shrinking field. Even HP, which acquired the great technology assets of DEC (in its acquisition of Compaq) today seems bent more on emulating the assemblers like Dell than on maintaining its existing products (to say nothing of innovating further). Perhaps the most sophisticated of all UNIX implementations -- Tru64 (the former OSF/1) -- is left languishing, and the same is happening to the brilliant and once cutting-edge Alpha chip and technology. HP wants to throw all this away in favor of HP-UX, Windows XP, and Itanium.
So who are the true innovators left? Who is left to take risks by being first either to create or integrate a technology? IBM is still one company left which does true R&D. The troubled Sun is also one such example. But Apple is certainly another deserving member of this group. And to dispute (or minimize) this on grounds of some developer-relations minutiae is myopic and petty.