Amazon tops MIT’s 50 smartest companies list; Apple’s nowhere

By : |June 30, 2016 0

After going through MIT’s global ranking for 50 smartest companies of 2016, with Amazon topping the charts, my first question was- where is Apple? And then I tried to recall if I missed Xiaomi’s ranking and to my double surprise, even the Chinese mobile phone maker has missed the mark this year.

Last year, Xiaomi was occupying the second position on MIT Technology Review’s list, well ahead of Apple, which occupied the 16th position.

That’s was a big climb from Xiaomi, which occupied the 30th position on the list in the previous year. And big progress for Apple, too, which failed to make it to the list at all.

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So, is that an irregularity, or bad criteria that favor an emerging versus an established technology company? Possibly, as it is very unlikely for a company to change the way it combines “innovative technology with an effective business model,” the main criterion used by the MIT Review, from year to year.

MIT identifies companies that are “smart” in the way they create new opportunities. Some of this year’s stars are large companies, like Amazon, Tesla Motors, and Alphabet, that are using digital technologies to redefine industries.

Others like Microsoft, Bosch, Toyota, and Intel are wrestling with technological changes. The list also includes those pushing the limits of new digital technologies, as Baidu is doing in its effort to create autonomous cars and Alphabet with its remarkable advances in artificial intelligence.

Also, on the list are ambitious startups like 23andMe, a pioneer in consumer-accessible DNA testing; 24M, a reinventor of battery technology; and DidiChuxing, a four-year-old ride-hailing app that’s beating Uber in the Chinese market.

The top ten in the list are:

1 Amazon

2 Baidu

3 Illumina

4 Tesla Motors

5 Aquion Energy

6 Mobileye

7 23andMe

8 Alphabet

9 Spark Therapeutics

10 Huawei

Amazon’s standout position owes to the surprising success of its Alexa Voice Service and the growing family of devices it powers (the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Tap). Alexa makes it easy to search the Web, play music and adjust your lights and thermostat—just by speaking inside your home. Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud-computing operation, also deserves notice as the industry leader and Amazon’s fastest-growing and most profitable division.

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