Before 2004, Bose was primarily known for its high-end audio products like the Acoustic Wave music system to a niche luxury market.
But the company gained a mainstream consumer base with its release of the SoundDock digital music system, the first iPod speaker system allowing owners to listen to their MP3s on a portable stereo without earbuds.
Bose’s sales also skyrocketed with high-performance earbuds and headphones and, in 2009, an upgraded SoundDock 10, compatible with all iPhone and most iPod models.
SDI Technologies Inc. launched this division of its company in 2005, specifically to market iPod electronics. Its iPod Clock Radio has held court as the top selling iPod speaker system in North America.
The company now manufactures a full line of products for the iPhone and iPad as well, including headphones, earbuds, charging stations, and computer accessories.
Ten months after Apple announced the iPhone, Google unveiled its competition: The Android.
The first open platform for mobile devices, the Android filled in the gaps left by the iPhone, including free turn-by-turn navigation, seamless integration with Gmail, Google Voice and front facing cameras.
Other Google products, created after Apple paved the way, included Google TV and the Chrome operating system and web browser.
Also feeding at the Apple trough is Cirrus Logic, the supplier of high-precision analog and digital signal processing components for iPhones, iPods and iPads.
The company reaps one-third of its sales from Apple products and shares have increased a staggering 46% this year alone.
Between January 2007 when Apple announced its exclusive partnership with AT&T for iPhone service and the following June when the product launched, stock in the telecommunications giant climbed 22%.
At the same time, shares in Verizon gained only 13%. Now, with the shoe on the other foot, Verizon has gained 11% while AT&T is experiencing a slight decline.
In addition to dedicating the majority of its reporting to stories about Apple and reviews of Apple products,
the technology weblog Gizmodo made national headlines and earned a huge uptick in traffic when it leaked the iPhone 4 prototype.
The Mac-divined dating website matches Apple fanboys and fangirls who are ready to supplant their love connections with gadgets to relationships with actual human beings.
Like catering to those looking to marry within their religion, the site, a portmanteau of Cupid and Cupertino (Apple’s headquarters),
mates the like-minded faithful based on similar "personalities, creative professions, a similar sense of style and aesthetics, taste, and a love for technology."
The Finnish game developer’s Angry Birds, which debuted in 2009, is one of the best selling iPhone apps of all time with a total of 75 million downloads across a variety of platforms.
The worldwide phenomenon, soon to rival Mario status, has already become a veritable franchise with toys, t-shirts, iPhone cases, a movie tie-in and a possible TV series.
PANDORA MEDIA, INC.
When the iPhone debuted, its storage capacity was severely limited, allowing users access to only a fraction of their iTunes libraries.
But when the Internet radio service Pandora released a mobile app, suddenly iPhone users’ music choices expanded infinitely.
A rare success story in the digital music world, Pandora filed for a $100 million IPO in February 2011.
One could argue that Foxconn --the Chinese factory that assembles Apple (AAPL) iPhones, iPods, and iPads, and other electronics -- is the best known of all Chinese manufacturers, which is saying a lot.
The Foxconn complex is virtually an entire economy unto itself, with just under a million employees.Half of that staff work at the company’s complex in the industrial city of Shenzhen in southern China.
The plant has its own fire department, hospital, banks, shops, an Internet café, and one of the largest industrial kitchens in all of Asia. But what has made the company well-known to Americans is not its size.
Instead, the firm is infamous for a dark period in 2010 when the company saw 14 suicides and 18 attempts at Foxconn’s factory.In response to the crisis, the company erected safety nets on the outside of its factory walls.
In 2010, Foxconn reported nearly $60 billion in revenue and $2.2 billion in net income. (To read more, see "The Foxconn Predicament" in this feature series.)