Apple is the fashionable company, the trendy, the one to imitate and follow when we talk about design and usability. They launched the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad and are probably designing the iWho-knows-what-else.
Their business model is shocking and very very successful, based on a few principles: a) scarcity marketing, b) high quality hardware and wide offer of software applications through the App Store and c) high edge prices. They sell a expensive product but customers perceive it is worth the price. Reason for that is not easy to explain but very real though.
We all know where Apple comes from, they were defeated by Microsoft in the PC software market and, as a side effect, in the hardware market too on the 80's. In those days, using an Apple product, namely, a Macintosh computer, was only for a minority and rare (strange?) group. They even had specific group names (Maqueros in Spain) and they became the “indie” version of the personal computer's users, they did differently for years because they did believe their product was the best. That conviction makes a difference on marketing.
When an Appler pays for an Apple's device, they purchase something more than the product itself, they buy the right to be part of a group of people who deserve the best devices on earth, who will enjoy the best customer experience ever imagined, who will consume the most creative applications and trendiest content offered by the App Store and who do not mind to pay a higher price for that.