Apple make beautiful unique pieces of hardware, on the outside that is. On the insides, they are the same as everyone else's; Intel make their processors too.
The last time Steve Gates left (or was thrown out) apple dived, when he arrived back he bought with him a fresh view on usability and interaction along with some amazing design talent which revolutionised personal computing to what we know it as today.
I've been using most platforms extensively over the past 20 years and Apple don't really write the applications that are used everyday, like Adobe's Creative Suite or Microsoft's ubiquitous office Suite. And I know it's a shock to designers everywhere, but the applications work the same, regardless of the Operating System they are running on.
Apple's strengths are they look pretty and that has garnered them a cult like following; the other is their very compatible ecosystem. Their very tight and closed ecosystem is built by excluding other manufactures of hard and soft ware, reducing consumers choice and forcing us to use their profit centric innovations like iTunes.
For the record, I have more iPods than I can use, iPhones lying round and at work I'm surrounded by the Apple logo.
I can use any platform to achieve what I need in work or recreation. I do not like Apple's exclusionary business practices. But I see it as their major downfall; they will only be a niche product when the chips land, I call them a 20 percenter. They'll only ever have 20% of the market when the peak from releasing something new fades in to the back ground....