Apple's success is not about new technology (tablets and smartphones already existed before the iPad and the iPhone, respectively); it is about creating a new market -- they transform a niche market into a maintream market. They have been incredibly successful in doing that because: 1) they make technology accessible and, more importantly, 2) they create awareness. They manage to create awareness not only with excellent marketing but, and this is their very unique advantage over any other company, because all eyes are on Apple. Whether it's tech media or maintream mass media, whether it's the Web, TV, newspaper or radio, every media is following and reporting Apple's every move.
Any company can make technology accessible, very few, if any, can create awareness like Apple can.