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Old 29th April 2010, 11:46   #1
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Default Move over Microsoft & Google. Apple is now the most valuable tech company!!

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Apple overtook the very same Microsoft in market capitalisation to emerge as America's second most valued firm behind Exxon Mobil. Apple's market capitalisation at $241.5 billion was ahead of Microsoft's $239.5 billion and trailed only the oil giant Exxon Mobil, which had a market cap of over $300 billion.
Read full TOI article

Microsoft may not agree with S&P's calculations, but whichever way you look at it...Apple is either just ahead, or just behind. A little over a decade back, Apple was in the doldrums & brought ousted founder Steve Jobs back into the leadership role. From a pure "computer" maker in the nineties, to a giant that "also makes computers" today (in addition to the iPod, iPhone, iTunes store etc.), its been a heck of a journey.

Consider the difference in quarterly revenue (ending March):

MS : Revenue of $14.5 billion, net income of $4.01 billion
Apple : Revenue of $13.5 billion and net of $3.07 billion

That is only $1 billion of a difference in revenues, the closest ever. Sure, Apple stock is optimistically priced (P/E relative to MS's) and there's a lot of hype around Apple at the moment.

Yet, this piece of news is just a small indicator of the brilliant business decisions taken by Steve Jobs in the last 10 years.

Last edited by GTO : 29th April 2010 at 11:48.
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Old 29th April 2010, 11:57   #2
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It was bound to happen, with very strong leadership and vision Apple scores over others anyday. Microsoft and Google i somehow feel, hurry too much and sometimes land up loosing the much needed focus. Just my observation.

Apple has a very different philosophy/approach to their Products, though others might hate the attitude, its this attitude which has given them the numbers.
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Old 29th April 2010, 11:59   #3
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Reason is simple! Apple concentrates on usability, hueristics and user acceptance in every of their product - software or hardware. All these are infused equally with the requirement for an attractive design. Add innovations and a little (overrated, of course) marketing hype, and the product is already desirable and have attain halfway success, before launch. But still, Apple will remain a niche tech player, because, it is why they command that much brand equity!

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Old 29th April 2010, 15:16   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Microsoft and Google i somehow feel, hurry too much and sometimes land up loosing the much needed focus. Just my observation.
Microsoft sure hurried up with the disastrous Vista. I was very happy with its performance over the initial 6 months, but every update seems to slow it down drastically! The boot time on my (powerful) Vista laptop is like a couple of minutes now. Clearly, a product that wasn't properly tested and had way too many bugs / inconsistencies.

However, the Windows 7 has unanimously positive reviews. I am pleasantly surprised with what forum'ers & bloggers have to say about the latest OS.

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Originally Posted by iTNerd View Post
All these are infused equally with the requirement for an attractive design.
Design, image & the cool / wow factor have been huge contributors to Apple's success, IMO.

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a little (overrated, of course) marketing hype
So true. But their PR & marketing are sure doing a fantastic job!

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But still, Apple will remain a niche tech player,
Not a niche player anymore . Their sheer sales shadow that of Microsoft now!
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Old 29th April 2010, 16:18   #5
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Just an S&P anomaly and standard TOI mindless journalism.

"The S&P 500 index, in particular, is based on a company's “float-adjusted” market cap—that is the value of all shares that are available on the market for sale at any given point in time. While that’s of particular interest to investors—who, after all, are looking to actively trade in a stock—this number doesn’t include shares that are held by investors who are not interested in trading. And that makes a big difference: when all shares of both companies are taken into consideration, Microsoft’s full market cap still outstrips Apple's by $275 billion to $241 billion."

Apple surpasses Microsoft's market cap -- sort-of | Business Center | MacUser | Macworld
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Old 29th April 2010, 16:48   #6
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So what happens when Steve Jobs resigns or fades away?
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Old 29th April 2010, 17:06   #7
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Love it or hate it...Apple sells!

They make the biggest news with the biggest bang! Either their marketing team is MILES ahead of everyone else or it is just easier to associate with the word "Apple" which is seemingly harmless, than the word "Microsoft" which we have learned to associate with greedy software licensing.

In any case my personal belief is that while MS and Apple will rule the end-user device space for the near future, the long-term gains of owning the "Cloud" will reap big benefits for Google.
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Old 29th April 2010, 17:21   #8
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Well, the main factor of differentiation between both Apple and Microsoft and for that matter even google is that there are many tech companies that created good products.

Be it Google's android OS, or Blackberry mobile sets or Microsoft Windows 7.

But Apple created good products and more importanatly built an ecosystem of around its products. I for sure would prefer iPhone not just for the products that it has but for the ecosystem part the AppStore and the iTunes store etc. Thats how they managed to attract US customers.
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Old 30th April 2010, 17:31   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e1t1bet View Post
Just an S&P anomaly and standard TOI mindless journalism.
Agreed, I read up on that too and hence, included the "slightly ahead, or just behind" line in my opening post. Lets say Apple's market cap is 15% lesser than that of MS. Still a fantastic achievement for a company that was considered a niche player only 5 - 10 years back.

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So what happens when Steve Jobs resigns or fades away?
Any competent CEO starts planning for succession atleast 5 years before retirement. Jobs has had his fair share of serious health problems and, I presume, already has a solid succession plan in place. It'll be tough for whoever it is to match the personality though.

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I for sure would prefer iPhone not just for the products that it has but for the ecosystem part the AppStore and the iTunes store etc.
While the practice may have its disadvantages, if I were an iPhone user (considered, but decided against), I'd value that AppStore very highly.
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Old 30th April 2010, 17:47   #10
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Originally Posted by gsferrari View Post
Either their marketing team is MILES ahead of everyone else
In any case my personal belief is that while MS and Apple will rule the end-user device space for the near future, the long-term gains of owning the "Cloud" will reap big benefits for Google.
I am a strong believer that, more than the Marketing strategy in these Mass end user products, its the sheer Engineering brilliance along with the Appeal it has through its Ergonomics. And YES, the innumerable application options provided no doubt boasts its chances of success, a hell lot.

Google is strategically positioned between a number of worlds:
1. Search Engine
2. Ads
3. IM
There is a lot of speculation that they would go ahead in acquiring/developing products which give mass end users access to these spaces -- IMS (IP Multimedia Services) Enablers and Application servers.
If that happens , then it enters another world altogether ---> The convergence of IP, Telecom world, where in the Mobile operators waiting to provide new services on 3G/4G and LTE would be the customers.
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Old 28th May 2010, 10:42   #11
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No room for debates anymore! As things stand right now, Apple has indeed overtaken Microsoft and is now the world's most valuable tech company. Linky to WSJ Blog; fun comments!
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Old 28th May 2010, 10:56   #12
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It is just hype, like any Apple product.

Quote:
The S&P 500 index, in particular, is based on a company's “float-adjusted” market cap—that is the value of all shares that are available on the market for sale at any given point in time. While that’s of particular interest to investors—who, after all, are looking to actively trade in a stock—this number doesn’t include shares that are held by investors who are not interested in trading. And that makes a big difference: when all shares of both companies are taken into consideration, Microsoft’s full market cap still outstrips Apple's by $275 billion to $241 billion.

Therefore, this milestone appears to be more psychological than anything. It's a bit like trying to decide who the richer of two people is based on the amount of cash they have in their wallets.
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Old 28th May 2010, 11:05   #13
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I think Microsoft is more diversified, has tons of cash and looks more solid and hence more valuable. Hope Apple can keep it up.
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