Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Eriq Gardner writes that Apple has long insisted that it doesn't pay for product placement in movies and television, but evidence from the Samsung trial shows that Hollywood has been a huge part of the company's marketing strategy over the years. In fact, Apple has been getting hundreds of millions of dollars of possibly free publicity over the years. "According to a survey by Brandchannel this year, Apple-branded products have appeared in more than a third of all films topping the box office from 2001 through 2011 (and 17 of the 40 top films last year)," writes Gardner. "That's more than McDonald's, Pepsi and the Sony Vaio combined for the past decade." For example, in "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol," Apple got more than five minutes onscreen worth more than $23 million and most amazingly, according to Brandchannel, is that Apple says it didn't pay a penny for product placement. Apple's continued dominance is even more surprising considering how other computer makers have moved in recent years to push it out. According to Brandchannel, Samsung had an official sponsorship deal with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, but that didn't stop iPhones and Macs from stealing scenes in what some call the longest Apple commercial you'll ever see. "There are several scenes where 3-4 Apple products including iPhones and iPads are being handled and shown," writes dangerdave. "Apparently you can’t be a super, secret IMF agent without an iPhone.""