Apple is often hailed as one of the true innovators of technology. In reality, however, their innovations are fairly limited. While they are credited with creating new technology, they have few inventions that did not exist prior to their entry into a market. They outsource their manufacturing, and they rely on other companies to invest in the research and development that they eventually use.
However, Apple does have a reputation for combining features in a way that leads to useful products. While the touchscreen, cell phone and concept of an online store are are old ideas, the iPhone combined these technologies in a way that created a new field of smart phones. Some argue that this is a method of innovation even if the individual components are not new.
The definition of the term innovator varies based on who is asked the question, so Apple’s status as a leading innovator depends on what precise definition is being used. Regardless, Apple does have a major influence on the tech world.