I agree, and I think those who don't comprehend Apple's success simply may not have an appreciation for aesthetics. They're either buying products on price or spec and to that point, a pulsating glowing LED, cables that click nicely into place and well-machined, metal cases don't factor into their purchasing decisions. After all, products don't elicit a feel, they simply perform a function.
As a designer, I can't wrap my brain around that. However I appreciate the fact that to some, my own ideals are equally as ridiculous. After all, I'd buy a technically inferior product simply because it was prettier and easier to use. Nevertheless I'm thankful Apple exists because it gives consumers like myself a choice. Although I use a wide variety of tech (and currently don't even carry an Apple phone), I like that at least one tech company is providing the world with some gorgeous industrial design. And as HP looks to be jumping on the Apple bandwagon in order to differentiate themselves from all the other PC vendors, they may start doing the same with their webOS line.
In that respect, choice is great. People are free to use their technically advanced Android phones while I can use my aesthetically pleasing and easy to use webOS phone. Everyone wins.