The bigger issue here is the narrow definition of "innovation"* so often used at /. and other tech-centric places, in which innovation only means innovation in a strictly technological/programming/hardware sense of the word. Behind this conceit lies the assumption that the only innovation which matters is purely technological innovation, and all of the other aspects, including making these innovations easy to use and accessible for wide range of people, are looked up on as somehow less than.
Hence the constantly renewing Year of Linux on the Desktop, which ignores the fact even the best-packaged Linux distros are at best a mixed bag when it comes to usability. Hence the constant claims that the iPhone/iPod will soon fall from its perch because its focus is ease of use and accessibility and not "innovation". Hence the boiling down of the wide variety of things which must go into a successful product as "cool" or "marketing", etc.
Apple's particular current genius lies in its ability to take technology and package it for use by a wide variety of people who don't care about the technology per se, and a big part of this is the iPod Touch/iPhone's UI, which makes it so easy even your grandmother can tweet away to her heart's content. And I think the reason Apple catches so much flack here, and elsewhere, is that by giving the "sheep" access to the technology, it take away from the n3rd world the special acclaim they have given themselves for having access to that technology.
That thought aside, the fact that so very few tech companies are able to do what Apple does should tell you how incredibly difficult it is to do, and why it is as innovative as any other tech achievement.
Microsoft has, quite literally, money to burn and the best they can do is constantly bandage over the larger usability nightmares in Windows and Windows Mobile. Palm had to almost die before they came up with WebOS. Gnome and KDE have a (relatively) large installed base and access to talented people and the best they can come up with is a model which, sometimes, is easier to use than Windows. YOur average cel phone UI is a nightmare of menus, submenus, confusing icons and deeply-buried features. And on and on.
Making technology easy to use is incredibly difficult and every bit as innovative as writing a new OS or designing a new chip. And, while Apple has made, and will continue, to make stupid decisions, when it comes to what they do, they do do it so very well.
*There is a further conceit here, as to the true nature of innovation. There seems to be the idea that "true" innovators are the geniuses who come up with a wholly original idea, develop that idea, get it to market and retire to sleep on a bed of money. Look at this history of technology and you will see that almost never happens. Almost every innovation you can think of is either an improvement on an earlier idea or a new combination of previously established technology and ideas. Henry Ford, to pick one at random, didn't invent a damn thing. He took the idea of assembly lines and interchangeable parts from weapons manufacture, combined it with a newly available urban workforce and clever marketing (any color you want as long as its black) which was actually based on sound logistical planning, and created the modern car industry. It's the same with the computer industry. Progress is the story of incremental improvement and assembly of ideas and not sudden advances out of nowhere.
Or that's my $0.02