Currently, I am reading a book a friend has lent me called Product Leadership: Creating and Launching Superior Products by Robert G. Cooper. It was written in 1998, and although some aspects of the text seem relevant today, there are some that are not. There is a particular instance where Cooper describes the basis of product leadership and gives examples of companies that are "winners", and some that are "losers" struggling to identify themselves as " new product" companies.
Some of the winners included Merck, 3M, Microsoft, and HP. Then he goes on to list the "losers." The "losers" included GM, Chrysler, and Apple. That's right, Apple! The company who just earlier this week announced record sales and is becoming one of the most valuable companies in the world.
I don't think anyone could have predicted such a turnaround from a company that was struggling to be profitable just 13 years ago to now have one of the highest quarterly earnings of all time. Apple has completly changed their approach on new products, having paved the way to revolutionary products and carving new industries.