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Apple tops all, Samsung freefalls in Fortune's most admired

Commentary: It seems a few fires in your phones can make a big difference.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Still winning?

Stephen Lam, Getty Images

Apple is dull right now, isn't it?

The iPhone 7, for instance, didn't exactly move the needle on design or magical new features. People aren't clamoring to buy iPads the way they used to.

Somehow, though, Apple's still managing to be the object of adoring eyes.

In Fortune's new list of the world's most admired companies, there sits Cupertino at the very top. Again, that is. Apple was also ranked the most admired in 2016.

This year, the company still cruises along ahead of No. 2 Amazon. Tech companies often do well in these lists, as they're still seen as a touch more progressive. This time, the Google-encompassing Alphabet is at No. 6, while Facebook and Microsoft share ninth place.

One notable tech absentee is Samsung. Last year's 35th most admired company is out of the Top 50.

Somehow, those exploding Galaxy Note 7 phones -- and the resulting recalls and flight bans and jokes by late-night comedians -- seem to have dented Samsung's reputation. Indeed, Fortune explains that reputation is one of the important criteria in judging companies for the list. (Samsung has since explained at great length all the ways that it's making things better for its phone batteries, so perhaps that will put it in a better light for next year's admiration assessment.)

Fortune constructs this ranking in league with executive search company Korn Ferry Hay Group.

The adjudicators talked to 3,800 executives, directors and securities analysts. Oddly, they don't seem to talk to people who buy the products. Their admiration might seem more compelling.

Fortune's method does make for some skewed interpretations. For example, Fortune says that Samsung fell off the list of the world's most admired because of the exploding phones. However, it moved up one place in the electronics category, which is only voted on by those in the industry.

Neither Samsung nor Apple immediately responded to a request for comment.

For Cupertino, though, it's surely another vindication that even if the company might seem a touch staid these days -- well, it is over 40 -- it's still seen as a beacon.

I wonder how much longer that will last.

Technically Incorrect: Bringing you a fresh and irreverent take on tech.

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