Investors are still getting used to thinking of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) as a dividend stock. After all, it was less than two years ago when Apple first initiated its dividend. But just because Apple's dividend is new doesn't mean investors looking for a solid stream of income for their portfolio shouldn't consider Apple. In fact, Apple could be among the best dividend stocks in the market.

Dividend investors ultimately evaluate dividend stocks on four criteria: dividend history, dividend yield, company profitability, and dividend growth prospects. While Apple certainly doesn't hold up very well on the first criterion, it measures up well on one of them and excellent on two.

In the video below, Fool contributor Daniel Sparks explains why, overall, Apple is a great dividend stock for investors with a Foolishly long-term time horizon.

Other rock-solid dividend stock picks
One of the dirty secrets that few finance professionals will openly admit is the fact that dividend stocks as a group handily outperform their non-dividend-paying brethren. The reasons for this are too numerous to list here, but you can rest assured that it's true. However, knowing this is only half the battle. The other half is identifying which dividend stocks in particular are the best. With this in mind, our top analysts put together a free list of nine high-yielding stocks that should be in every income investor's portfolio. To learn the identity of these stocks instantly and for free, all you have to do is click here now.

Daniel Sparks owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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