Dividends have become an essential component of successful investing recently, and companies have been racing to boost their dividend payouts. When it comes to the biggest companies in the stock market, what they pay in annual dividends alone is enough to dwarf the total value of many smaller and mid-sized companies.

In the following video, Fool markets analyst Mike Klesta talks with Fool contributor Dan Caplinger about the tug-of-war going on among the two biggest dividend-payers in the world. Dan discusses the competing payout increases that both companies have made recently and what they mean for shareholders, as well as the futures of the companies involved.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger owns shares of Apple. Mike Klesta has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool 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.