FORTUNE -- There's an elegiac tone to Adam ("Inside Apple") Lashinsky's essay in the issue of Fortune that names Apple (AAPL) the world's most admired company (as selected by its corporate peers) for the sixth year in a row.
"For some," Lashinsky writes, "the news will come as a surprise. Headlines of late have tended to portend Apple's demise, comparing the computer and mobile-gadget maker to Microsoft (the horror) and wondering whether Apple had lost its cool factor."
But perhaps, he suggests, echoing Horace Dediu's "Why doesn't anybody copy Apple?," Cupertino's competitors know something that more fickle investors and consumers do not: That it's not easy to do what Apple does.
"For those expecting a fall from grace," Lashinsky writes, "Apple undoubtedly is a victim of its own success. [Steve] Jobs, a legend in his own time and the face of Apple, actively hid his managers from public view, preferring that they focus on work, not self-aggrandizement. What's more, for a company that without hyperbole can be described as having released four revolutionary products in a decade -- iTunes, iPod, iPhone, and iPad -- expectations become exceedingly high.
"Yet the still-admiring executives who try to do what Apple does must have a sense of Apple's persistent potential. Apple's management bench is deep, if not famous. It's also easy to forget that six years separated the iPod and the iPhone, which preceded the iPad by another three years. When Apple released the iPad in 2010, it was initially mocked. Three years have passed, making the company not yet overdue to issue its latest category-defining product, whatever that may be. The world expects miracles from Apple. So much so that the absence of one on a regular schedule spells doom to some. Mere mortals at companies that never have put a dent in the universe continue to admire Apple's accomplishments."
Lashinsky's essay, "It's lonely at the top for Apple," can be found in the issue of Fortune dated March 18, 2013.
How the company is changing in the post-Steve Jobs era
FORTUNE -- Adam Lashinsky, whose 240-page book Inside Apple taught us more about how Apple (AAPL) works as a company than 656 pages of the Steve Jobs biography, has the cover of the current issue of Fortune: How Tim Cook Is Changing Apple.
Lashinsky touches all the bases that had previously been reported -- the new dividend, the trips to China and Washington, D.C., the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 24, 2012 6:19 AM ET
If you're in L.A. Thursday or Friday, join us at the Apple Investors Summit
We'll be speaking, along with Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson, Apple (AAPL) co-founder Steve Wozniak, Fortune's Adam Lashinsky, Asymco's Horace Dediu, Bullish Cross's Andy Zaky, Posts at Eventide's Robert Paul Leitau, AAPLPain's Travis Lewis, The Street's Jason Schwarz and many more.
To register, click here.Philip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 14, 2012 5:07 AM ET
An ex-employee asks Inside Apple's author "What creates the perfect Kool-Aid drinker?"
On the first stop on his publicity tour -- at the headquarters of LinkedIn -- Adam Lashinsky met a former Apple (AAPL) employee who had read Lashinky's book and was in a position to comment on how accurately it portrays life Inside Apple.
We've posted the meat of their exchange in the YouTube clip below. Lashinsky's interrogator -- who worked MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 29, 2012 8:06 AM ET
A deep dive into how -- and why -- Apple keeps its secrets
The excerpt, posted Wednesday, starts like this:
Apple employees know something big is afoot when the carpenters appear in their office building. New walls are quickly erected. Doors are added and new security protocols put into place. Windows that once were transparent are now frosted. Other rooms have no windows at all. They are called lockdown rooms: No information MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 18, 2012 6:24 AM ET
The senior VP's chief weakness, writes Fortune's Adam Lashinsky, is his naked ambition
He's young (43). Comfortable on stage (played Sweeney Todd in high school). Has serious nerd credentials (Stanford, NeXT). Shares Steve Jobs' obsession with detail (keeps a jeweler's loupe in his office to check every pixel on every icon). And the division he heads -- mobile software -- drives nearly 70% of Apple's (AAPL) income.
"He's a sharp, down-to-earth, and talented MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 17, 2012 5:29 AM ET
Walter Isaacson shares new information on his best-selling biography of the Apple founder.
FORTUNE -- Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs has topped The New York Times bestseller's list for eight consecutive weeks now. Earlier in the month I interviewed Isaacson for a sold-out audience of the Commonwealth Club of Northern California in San Francisco. For all that has been written about Isaacson's book and for all the people who have read it, there MOREAdam Lashinsky, Sr. Editor at Large - Dec 27, 2011 10:53 AM ET
Fortune's Kindle book is a treasure trove of vintage Steve Jobs vignettes
"Contempt" is probably the word that best describes Steve Jobs' attitude toward the press. But he courts the publications he cares about, and over the years one of the magazines he courted most assiduously -- at least until a certain 2008 cover story -- was Fortune.
While at Apple (AAPL), NeXT, Pixar and Apple again, he gave Fortune's writers and editors MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 28, 2011 6:45 AM ET
It was a wheel that revolved around Steve Jobs. How will it change under Tim Cook?
One of my favorite elements in Adam Lashinsky's How Apple Works -- the "inside" story that created a sensation when it appeared in the May 23 issue of Fortune but was made fully available online only last week -- was the organization chart assembled by Fortune's graphics team under the guidance of senior research editor Doris MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 29, 2011 7:51 AM ET
Six minutes on Jobs' legacy at Apple. A two-minute spotlight on Cook, the new CEO.
The video team at CNNMoney has produced two pieces to mark the changing of the guard at Apple (AAPL).
To reflect on Steve Jobs' legacy, I was invited to join a team from Fortune magazine that includes managing editor Andy Serwer, tech editor Stephanie Mehta, senior editor at large Adam Lashinsky and contributor Michael Copeland.
The piece on MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 25, 2011 6:17 AM ET
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