Using its clout as a vendor of highly desirable consumer technology, Apple secures extremely favorable deals with suppliers, providers of goods and services, and retailers.
Such deals are a major reason behind Apple's extraordinary profits.
"Can Apple continue to roll through industry after industry, soak up all the profits, and leave everything it touches as a smoking wreckage?" Craig Moffett, an analyst at Sanford Bernstein & Co. told the Los Angeles Times.
Despite increases in business volume, many companies that deal with the Cupertino, CA-company discover it's usually a one-sided relationship when it comes to profits.
Apple has, in effect, become the technology world's "vampire squid" -- a term coined by Rolling Stone Matt Taibbi in 2009 to describe Wall Street behemoth Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS).