Apple has seized a top 50 position in a BusinessWeek list of the world's "best in class" firms.

The report praises Apple for being a dynamic company that continues to drive innovation, and welcomes its move to shake up the mobile phone industry with the iPhone.

The report assesses the best companies from across the ten S&P 500 industry sectors. Google tool first place, while Apple takes 34th position on the list.

"The Class of 2007 is chock full of companies that are rewriting the rules of engagement in their industries. They are the agitators, the pioneers, and the game changers that are leading the way in the 21st century," Business Week explains.

On Apple's growing story, the report notes: "Somewhere along the line, Apple went from being Microsoft’s whipping boy to becoming, in some ways, the new Microsoft."

The report looks at Apple's dominance of the digital music industry and its rising slice of the PC market, and looks at the Apple TV as evidence that Cupertino is preparing to beat its way into industry sectors Microsoft previously played in.

"Apple's star seems destined to rise farther still," the report ends, warning that a failed product launch of legal problems related to the company's stock options backdating case could be the only bar to progress.