Fast Company has released its 2019 list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies — and, unlike last year, Apple’s no longer number one.
This year, Apple falls substantially to 17th place. “They didn’t really break new ground with their devices, and hardware sales were sluggish,” Fast Company senior editor Amy Farley told CNBC. But the business publication does give Apple props for its dazzling A12 Bionic chip.
As FC notes in its Apple entry:
“Apple’s most impressive new product of 2018 wasn’t a phone or a tablet, but a chip: the A12 Bionic. Debuting in last fall’s iPhones, it’s the industry’s first processor based on a seven-nanometer manufacturing process. The A12’s 6.9 billion transistors deliver dramatically faster performance, lower power consumption, and more raw muscle for intensive applications such as AI, AR, and high-end photography. At a time when it remains tougher than ever to induce consumers to upgrade, as proven by Apple’s surprise January move to cut revenue guidance on sluggish iPhone sales, the innovative chip design positions the company to create a whole new generation of irresistible experiences.”
There’s no doubt that Apple’s A12 Bionic chip is impressive. I wouldn’t recommend running for the hills based on Apple’s decline in the rankings, however. They aren’t so much based on financial performance, but rather a more subjective impact on “industry and culture.” (After all, 2018 was the year in which Apple made history as the first $1 trillion publicly traded company in history.)
Last year saw some very impressive products for Apple, but it wasn’t a year of massive revolution. By contrast, 2018 saw the arrival of the iPhone X, a major rethink on the iPhone form factor. It also introduced us to ARKit, Apple’s much hyped augmented reality platform.
Fast Company‘s top five innovative companies included several tech companies — but probably not the ones you’d expect. These include Chinese app maker Meituan Dianping, Singapore Uber-alike Grab, the NBA, Walt Disney Company, and clothing e-commerce retailer Stitch Fix.
You can read Fast Company‘s rankings here. They also appear in the latest print edition of the magazine.