Using the NeXt Computer thinking (NeXt was sold to Canon), Jobs reinvented the Mac to eventually run a somewhat non-proprietary operating system, and capture some of the fancy and success of the open source movement-- the only software movement to have sufficient strength to rival the often boorish Microsoft Money Machine. Apple had from 1984 to 1995, captured the GUI. Nothing really came close. Then Microsoft figured out how to change things with Windows 3.0, and an industry was born. Apple would fight to get it back, a ten year battle.
The awful and largely eschewed Macintosh G3/G4/G5 processors were dumped in favor of Intel's microprocessor family. Gone was the troika of Apple-Motorola-IBMs PowerPC chip. The machines became fast, sleek, advanced. They could use open source software (without a re-compile of that software to the PowerPC family). They could dual-boot the dreaded Windows software. Capitulation turned into marketshare for Apple.
By this time, Microsoft had made their way into the enterprise, trying to rival as much turf as was reasonably possible. They bought numerous companies, and integrated their components as they could, all along in great fear of open source software, instead of riding with it. Microsoft's ability to gain integration would cut their sales-- the ones made by various integrators and application makers that used Windows as a platform. It was and is a dicey time for Microsoft. Fanboyism was actually business partnering. You made money with Microsoft, and so the platform moved on, despite its then rickety architecture.
Apple 'invented' the iPod. Microsoft came up with the Zune. Sony came up with the PS2, then PS3, and Microsoft tried to get the xBox family growing. Oracle bought several organizations, including a huge integration concern, Seibel Systems, while Microsoft bought a middle-ground accounting package, Great Plains. The Windows and Office franchise, however, continued to be their 'oil well in the basement'.
Apple brought out the iPhone, and took the smartphone market on its ear. No one argues its numeric and statistical success. It remains huge, and has many fans that await future generations. The iPhone saved AT&T's cellular network from certain financial disaster by allowing itself to be captive to the network.
The iPad created a similar frenzy. The frenzy saw the product sell a million units its first month, and the iPad became the latest tech toy from Apple to become a legend.
Apple once made the mistake of not following the flow of the industry. Today, they're trying to create the flow, and let everyone else follow that. They have momentum to do so based on paying attention to quality and making their customers happy. But there is something onerous and evil happening.
So now everything is fanboi marketing. Blackberry, HP, Asus, Apple, Lenovo, all have cults. Great sums of money are now spent watching tweets to see trends.