At the risk of sounding like an intemperate cuss, Apple matches my temper and tolerance. Their products work, customer service is how I think it should be. When you purchase a personal computer, phone etc. customer service should be personal too. Apple does this exceptionally well. A former underdog Apple may cost more, but I have yet to regret spending a dime for an Apple product. The operating system is coherent and intuitive, at least when you have a lot of other things on your mind, second nature operating system to the mind is no bad thing. I have found Apple to be reliable in a pinch. When I was working on my dissertation now more than 12 years ago, not once did the computer screw up back then my paper. It didn't lock up, it didn't delete, it didn't slow down, it simply worked. Completion of my degree program depended on a reliable operating system and I did not have the time to try to figure much else out. Apple performed as advertised, with few exceptions it continues to do so.
Steve Jobs was an interesting character. I recognized a long time ago, he was the Edision, Tesla, the Harley Earl of our day. It was interesting to see how he organized the operation then listen to his multi-million dollar keynote address, after teasing the public of what was to come next. He defied conventional wisdom that tablets can translate into record sales when other competitors said, it doesn't compute. http://news.softpedia.com/news/Analyst-Says-Apple-s-Rumored-Television-Is-the-iPanel-263222.shtm
Here is a modern example of leadership 401 and uncommon courage taught in real time by Apple. I listen and read what other companies do and say. On the computer front Sony has the goods, but for now they have a case of autism. Its in there, but they can't get the message out. Sony Vaio is a great product, second to Apple. For years I worked with Dell in health care, didn't pay for them but had to use them. Year after year after year junk. I am one who is very thoughtful of calling another man's work junk, but I can stand by the statement from experience and many a sales staff through out the United States would be in agreement. Dell could never get it right, despite their potential for magnificence. Asus seems to be positioning its product in the market, they just don't have a brnad identity in the consumer market.
As a rule of thumb everyone loves a great story. Harley Davidson, Bose, Hyundai, Apple, Jeep all have great stories. If you know part of the story or all of the story then you know which companies to stay away from and which one's are worth the time of day. To further illustrate my point, being a former service member, I have been ironing my clothes for decades. I believe in a good iron. When I was younger GE made a great iron, Rowenta of Germany great iron, now Panasonic is on top of there games, the others have fallen off he cliff or no longer an investment for one to expect the reliability of an appliance. The short answer, is that Panasonic has the brand structure in electronics to put good innards in their irons. Rowenta has some irons built in China others Germany, GE doesn't make irons. All these companies are cost cutting, but Panasonic is not cost cutting its innards to bring product to market. Last I checked Apple has billions of dollars in cash, they can afford to be the best if managed right for a long time to come. The technology that Steve Jobs oversaw alone, has Apple in position to lead the market, from a processor and operating system standpoint until 2015 according to analysts.