BW: Apple is World's Most Innovative Company

BusinessWeek ranked Apple as the worldis most innovative company in a special report on Friday. Google was ranked #2 and Microsoft #5.

The major report, with multiple segments and background details on the methodology, included a list of the top 50 most innovative companies in the world.

Other notable companies in the top 50 included: Sony (#9), Nokia (#10), Amazon (#11), IBM (#12), Hewlett-Packard (#15), Walt Disney (#17) and AT&T (#27). Dell was ranked #46.

"Once again, Appleis design whizzes lead our list, followed by Google?s search geniuses and Toyotais hybrid car mavens," BusinessWeek reported.

BW brought up the debatable issue of slashing research and development money in these tough economic times. However, truly innovative companies donit think that way. Apple proved in the past that innovating while others cut R&D money positions a company very well against its competitors when things get back to normal.

"Strong companies understand this, and during a recession, they invest," said Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Google. "And they get pummeled for it: iHow could you do this? Youire arrogant. The world is falling apart,i" Mr. Schmidt said, mimicking those who want to put their head in the sand during tough economic times.

Another way to look at it is in terms of constraints. "Constraints drive innovation," said Jeff Bezos of Amazon. Amazon knows something about innovation as well. They placed #11 on BWis list.