Apple placed number four on the “Most Innovative Companies of 2017” list from FastCompany. The Cupertino, California-based company placed fourth on the list; that’s up from seventh place in 2016. Apple has made the list for three years running.
The “Most Innovative Companies of 2017” honors leading enterprises and rising newcomers that exemplify the best in nimble business and impactful innovation. Earning the No. 1 spot on the list this year is the “envy of the media world,” Buzzfeed. Recognized for a culture “that embraces constant change yet remains devoted to data-driven metrics,” this is Buzzfeed’s first time ranking on the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies list since 2013.
FastCompany says Apple’s approach to the hardware and software engineering that creates its experiences has “never been more ambitious.” Other makers of phones and tablets buy the same off-the-shelf chips as their competitors. Apple, by contrast, designs its own chips—so an iPhone packs a processor designed specifically optimized for Apple’s operating system, apps, display, camera, and touch sensor. The company has gotten so good at chip design that the A10 Fusion inside the iPhone 7 trounces rival processors in independent speed benchmarks.
“Apple has also made major inroads in artificial intelligence, an area where the competition from companies such as Google couldn’t be any more daunting,” adds FastCompany. “For instance, it uses AI techniques to wring as much life as possible out of the iPhone’s battery. Because of Apple’s privacy-driven decision to limit the amount of information it aggregates and analyzes in the cloud, it also does much of its AI right on the devices rather than using massive server farms. When it calls machines such as the iPad Pro ‘supercomputers,’ it isn’t exaggerating.”
Taking the top 10 spots on the “Most Innovative Companies of 2017” list are Amazon, Google, Uber, Apple, Snap, Facebook, Netflix, Twilio, Chobani, and Spotify.