Apple ranks #1 again in Fortune’s ‘Most Admired Companies’ list !

For the sixth year in a row, Apple was named the most-admired company in the world. In spite of a stock free fall and the Apple Maps gaffe, the iPhone maker topped rivals Google and Amazon, Fortune announced Thursday.

Described as a “financial juggernaut” which became the most profitable company on the globe, Apple was named the over-all most admired firm while also topping the list as the most admired technology firm of 2013…

“Apple has had a rough time lately with its stock price in a free fall and the widely publicized failure of its Maps feature,” according to Fortune.

However, it remains a financial juggernaut, posting $13 billion in net income last quarter, making it the most profitable company in the world during that period. The company has its fanatical customer base, and it still refuses to compete on price, making the iconic iPhone and iPad products that are still widely seen as prestige devices. Competition may be stiff, but so far it remains behind: In Q4 2012, the iPhone 5 was the world’s best selling smartphone, followed in second place by the iPhone 4S.

Android-maker Google, Kindle manufacturer Amazon.com, soft-drink producer Coca-Cola and premiere coffee vendor Starbucks rounded out the top five most admired companies.

Along with continuing to be the most-wanted workplace, No. 2 Google’s most admired qualities this year focused on its battle with Apple.

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Number 3 Amazon.com “stands to become the largest beneficiary of the e-commerce industry boom,” according to today’s rankings. The Internet retailer was also cited for challenging Apple and Google in tablet sales, as well as its video streaming service going up against Netflix.

“This year the Android OS is expected to overtake Apple’s iOS as the number one mobile operating system in the US and Canada; and Google Play is expected to overtake the Apple App Store in total number of apps for mobile and tablet,” Fortune writes.

Microsoft, maker of the Surface Pro tablet and Windows 8 Phone, lands in 17th place. The company “is facing an uphill battle, as consumers are slow to adopt Windows 8,” writes Fortune. Microsoft “still has a few tricks up its sleeve with ownership of the Xbox, Skype” and cloud-based services, according to the publication.

Samsung, maker of the Android-based Galaxy S smartphone family and tablets – both strong challengers to Apple’s iPhone and iPad – was ranked 35 out of 50. Meanwhile, social networking giant Facebook landed in the cellar, ranking 48. Twitter, which increasingly challenges Facebook, did not make this year’s Fortune list.

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Samsung reports nine million Galaxy S III pre-orders worldwide !

Confirming its recent status of both the world’s #1 smartphone and cell phone vendor, Samsung reportedly racked up over nine million pre-orders for its Galaxy S III smartphone worldwide. The figure excludes the United States, where an LTE version of the phone is slated to arrive in June.

This compares to first-weekend sales of the iPhone 4S exceeding four million units, twice as many units as the iPhone 4 which sold 1.7 million units during launch weekend.

Samsung’s flagship handset got introduced on May 3, accompanied by a strong marketing push. It will first go on sale on May 29 in Germany with the 32GB model as a Vodafone exclusive for the first month. The device is already available on Amazon contract-free for $799…

The figure came in a report by the Korea Economic Daily, sourced from an unidentified Samsung executive who reportedly shared this datum off the record with the paper. The story has since been corroborate by Reuters, which has it that a plant in South Korean is now churning out five million Galaxy S III units a month.

Samsung’s darling sports a 1.4GHz quad-core Samsung-built chip with 1GB RAM, a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display and an eight-megapixel back camera with a 1.9-megapixel camera out the front.

It also includes S-Voice, a new software feature akin to Siri which uses the voice recognition engine by Nuance, same like Apple’s digital assistant.

Looks like Samsung’s got a huge hit on its hands.

Its predecessor, the Galaxy S II, was introduced at Mobile World Congress in February 2011, and managed to sell 3 million global pre-orders by the end of April 2011. Nine months later, the S II sold 20 million units worldwide.

It should be noted that the S III is offered for pre-order through more than a hundred carriers around the globe.

For comparison, Apple’s phone is distributed by approximately 50 percent of all carriers worldwide. However, the iPhone 4S initially launched last October on just AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless, in addition to Apple’s retail stores, select Apple Authorized Resellers as well as Target, Best Buy and Walmart outlets.

Apple still has to expand on its carrier relationships.

For example, only China Telecom and China Unicom carry the iPhone in the 1.33 billion people market, though Apple has long been rumored to be close to cutting a landmark iPhone partnership with China Mobile, a state-owned wireless operator ranked as the world’s biggest carrier that commands nearly 668 million subscribers.

Kudos to Samsung, nine million pre-orders in just two weeks is more than impressive number no matter how you look at it !