fastest growing all stars Apple
2012 Fastest-Growing rank: 8
Years on list: 6

With the naming of a new CEO mid-year 2011, all eyes have been on Apple. The Cupertino, CA-based multinational debuted on this list at no. 6 in 2007, and has continued to hold a place above no. 40 each year. For 2012, landed the no. 8 spot.

Apple has gained from its blockbuster products. Demand for iPads and iPhones has spawned a market for downloadable apps that let users handle various tasks from shopping to playing games. And in turn, apps have fed consumers' demand for Apple's products. The company had $127.8 billion in sales during the 2011 calendar year, putting it neck-and-neck with Hewlett-Packard, the nation's largest tech company.

Competitor Samsung has quickly caught up, but the tide could turn just as quickly for the South Korean smartphone maker. In September 2012, a California jury ruled Samsung infringed Apple mobile phone patents. This puts pressure on Samsung to overhaul how it makes handsets, as the company faces the prospects of a ban on eight phones in the U.S. and hefty fines.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated September 06 2012 10:16 AM ET
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