For three years in a row now, Apple has landed on top of a list of most innovative companies in the world, according to consulting firm Booz and Company. The list was compiled from a survey of more than 700 companies, and Apple came out number one, with Google and 3M following close behind. "Innovative" is obviously a very subjective word in this case -- some could argue that Apple innovates on ideas originated by other people and companies, while others might argue that with a new model for each of its devices nearly every year, this award is well-deserved. But either way, no one can argue that Apple is pushing forward extremely quickly, both in the field of mobile devices and in the traditional desktop space.
Apple of course spends a huge amount of money on research and development, but it turns out that's not all you need to be innovative. Microsoft actually tops the list in R&D spending on software, and it was ranked as the sixth most innovative company on the list. Again, "innovation" is relatively subjective, and certainly Microsoft believes it gets plenty of benefits from spending so much on R&D. But Apple has done a lot of great things to get to where it is now, and being efficient and wise about its choices around innovation is definitely one of them.