Apple has ALWAYS created things that were different, always did things that were different than the rest of the industry. Back then Apple was considered a niche market and most of the industry pundits wrote Apple off as oddballs with a cult-like following. Back then Apple bucked the industry standards. Back then Apple was still the "little guy"... Back before the release of the iPod and the iPhone. Apple wasn't really considered to be much competition to the market which left a huge share for all the other players.
Microsoft was the guys to beat and everyone hated on every thing they did and you were a drone if you used that OS. Amazing how things have changed... but actually, how much they've stayed the same. People love to hate on the guy at the top of the heap.