Apple has a vast and successful product-placement juggernaut. It's no accident that, for example, "Gossip Girl's" characters went from carrying Verizon Wireless phones to iPhones. Apple has spent decades building the strategy, and unlike many companies, it apparently never pays for its products to appear on television or in movies. The company's gadgets were discussed or shown 891 times on TV in 2011, up from 613 in 2009, according to Nielsen. In the same year, Apple devices appeared in more than 40% of the movies that topped the weekly box office, according to Brandchannel, which tracks product appearances. That's nearly twice the penetration of the next most-common brands in Hollywood -- Dell, Chevy and Ford.