When you're the most valuable company in the world, the most profitable company of the last three years, and the company that sells the most popular smartphone and tablet, it's no surprise that others look up to you. For the seventh year in a row, Fortune has ranked Apple as the most-admired company on the planet.
You wouldn't know it from the relentlessly skeptical commentary on CNBC, the Pulitzer-prize-winning series in the New York Times, or the measly 12 times earnings Wall Street pays for its stock, but Apple is widely respected by people in the business.
Apple is tops on the list, but is followed by two other tech giants: retailer Amazon.com and everything-under-the-sun-er Google. The three have a striking lead in the admiration index over the competition. IBM (mostly competition for Google's cloud services) is ranked at 16, Samsung's tagged at 21, Microsoft registers at 24, Facebook is #38, eBay was 44th, and Intel dropped to 47th-place.