Technology stocks have suffered steep declines in 2022, as rising inflation has slowed consumer spending. However, Apple (AAPL -0.82%) has staved off the worst market declines, with its shares down 18% since January compared to the Nasdaq-100 Technology Sector index's plunge of 40% in the same period. 

Apple's innovative business of top-rated products and services has made it a haven for investors this year. The company's unique ability to reinvent existing technology and boost it into mainstream use has had an undeniable effect on consumer technology, and will likely continue doing so for years to come. 

Here's why Apple would be my first choice if I could only buy one stock.

Standing strong despite market declines 

Decreased consumer spending in 2022 has led to the decline of multiple markets. According to IDC, worldwide PC shipments decreased by 15% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2022.Meanwhile, the smartphone market similarly saw a 9.7% decline in the same period.

However, Apple has continued seeing growth in its segments despite market headwinds. In its Q4 2022 results released on Oct. 28, the company's Macbook business reported a 25% increase from the previous year, earning $11.51 billion.

The significant rise highlights consumer preference for Apple's computer offerings, while competitor Microsoft saw a slight decline in its "More Personal Computing" segment, which includes sales from its Surface computer lineup, in its most recent quarter.

Moreover, despite declines in the smartphone market, Apple's iPhone revenue saw a 9.6% bump in Q4 2022, bringing in $42.63 billion.The company has managed to continue growing its earnings while the competition suffers the brunt of the market's downward trend.

In fact, Apple was the only company out of its biggest competitors in Q3 2022 to see year-over-year growth, with its iPhone business rising 1.6%, while competitors such as Samsung, Xiaomi, and OPPO saw declines between 7.8% to 22.3%. 

Apple's ability to thrive in poor market conditions makes it an immensely reliable stock and an excellent long-term investment.

A bright future

Apple has made a name for itself, not by always being the first to produce technology but by innovatively redesigning existing tech in a way that catapults it into mainstream use. The company has done this repeatedly, most notably with the smartphone, which quickly became a necessity after the release of the iPhone. Apple did the same with its take on the tablet when it launched the first iPad, the smartwatch with its Apple Watch, and Bluetooth headphones with the immense success of its AirPods. 

The company's ability to drive up usability with its custom-designed products leaves plenty of room to continue growing. Rumors of Apple's plans to release an augmented and/or virtual reality device, an electric vehicle, and a folding iPhone mean the company is in a constant state of development and is always on the cusp of taking over a new market.

Additionally, in a more immediate and concrete future, the tech giant still has yet to complete its Intel-to-Apple Silicon transition within its Mac lineup. After exclusively using Intel processors in its computers since 2006, Apple started moving over to its in-house designed Apple Silicon chips in 2020. The company first announced it would move its entire line of PCs to its own custom chips in 2020, beginning with the launch of its M1 MacBook Air, Pro, and Mac Mini.

Apple has slowly replaced each Intel Mac with its own Apple Silicon version over the last few years, introducing an M1 iMac, an M2 MacBook Air and Pro, and a Mac Studio. However, it isn't quite done yet. Numerous reports state Apple has plans to release an Apple Silicon Mac Pro in the first quarter of 2023, while many consumers are still hoping to see a larger and more powerful iMac and a beefier Mac Mini. 

Since beginning the transition to Apple Silicon in June 2020, the company's Mac revenue has jumped 115% from $5.35 billion in Q2 2020 to $11.51 billion in Q4 2022. With the additional Macs still waiting to be moved over to the new processors, revenue will likely continue growing. 

Suffice it to say, Apple still has decades of innovation left up its sleeve, with no signs of slowing down. The company's unwavering growth and potent line of products are why I would unquestionably buy Apple stock if I could only choose one company to invest in.