Tech inventions are nice, but are not same as innovations, which Apple understands best.

Schumpeter, who coined the term "entrepreneur", made a distinction between invention, innovation and diffusion. In my view they are too often mixed up nowadays. For instance: the computer mouse of was invented by Douglas Engelbart. Xerox tried, but failed, to turn it into an innovation, that is to be the first to successfully commercialize it. Apple, however, turned that invention into an innovation. Later it was diffused, that is spread into a larger industry, by Microsoft, Logitech etc. 

I am not aware of any major invention coming from Apple, but they have arguably become the world's most successful innovator.  They have at numerous occasions been the first to turn inventions into commercially successful products. For instance, Apple didn't invent the touch screen or the smart phone. But they was the first to successfully design one that captured a large market. Later Samsung and other have stood for the diffusion.

More companies than Apple should pay attention to the difference between invention and innovation. It will help them to focus not only on the technology, but also the market, customers and other stakeholders. And organize their work better.

The first mouse, invented by Douglas Engelbart. (I have tried at his home!)

The first mouse, invented by Douglas Engelbart. (I have tried at his home!)

Source: https://twitter.com/