Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s glory days over? The company’s stock has certainly fallen very far from its September price, when it topped $700 per share. Now it’s worth less than $460 per share. The stock fell after its “average” earnings report in January. Investors don’t want “average”, they want a superstar. And right now every company would love to be like Apple. At least, like the company that Apple was.

Apple Logo

But why be like Apple? Why not be an individual? It isn’t the Apple-ness, per say, that everyone wants. It’s the success, which like so many things, is about the money.

Apple has got its fingers in just about every tech sector out there. It has iPhones in the hands of business people, soccer moms, college students, young professionals, dads and just about any other category you might find. The company doesn’t really need a niche market. It isn’t the business computing company, like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has typically been. It is the “everything computing” company. Even people who don’t consider themselves “high-tech” have and are able to use an iPhone.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is everywhere, and whichever company is lucky enough to grab Apple’s crown will suddenly be everywhere as well.

So where will we find the next Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)? If you look around, there are a few signs. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is in the process of building sleek Microsoft stores, a la Apple. ABC News reports that standing in a Microsoft store is so much like being in an Apple store “that Steve Jobs himself, were he to return to life, would have to pinch himself not to believe he was standing in one of his own creations.”

But is building a store that looks like an Apple store, except that it sells Microsoft products, enough to grab the tech giant’s crown? That does not seem likely.

And what about Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)? The numbers certainly don’t lie.  Forbes notes a few similarities between Apple and Facebook. Both had leaders that people connect with: Apple’s late CEO, Steve Jobs, and Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) built a name for itself as an innovator, and Facebook is doing the same right now. Some would say that Facebook is nothing but an advertising company. However, the company has moved into the e-commerce space and continues to push new innovations that will create revenue.

Both Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) have become embedded in our culture as well. Most people know what an iPhone is, even if they don’t have one. And you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have a Facebook page. Like Apple’s products, Facebook is also very easy to use.

So what will it take to really become the next Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)? The market has a funny way of deciding which company will become “the next big thing.”