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Apple surpasses Microsoft as biggest tech company

Wall Street elevates iPhone maker to number one position, as consumer tech bests business

iPhone maker Apple has surpassed Microsoft to become the world's most valuable technology company, according to the latest Wall Street evaluations.

On Wednesday Apple was valued at $222.12 billion and Microsoft at $219.18 billion, with the only American company valued higher being Exxon Mobil at $278.64 billion.

Revenues for Apple stand at $42.9 billion, with Microsoft at $58.4 billion. There is a wider divide in net income though, with Microsoft making a profit of $14.6 billion in its last fiscal year - compared to $5.7 billion for Apple.

The upset not only marks an individual triumph for Apple but also sees the dominant technology company change from one focused on business users to the consumer market.

As noted by the New York Times 172 million smartphones were sold last year, as opposed to 306 million PCs. However, smartphone sales are growing at more than five times the pace.

Of the two companies Microsoft remains by far the most invested in the video games industry, with both the Xbox brand and continued support for Games for Windows.

Apple has traditionally been far less engaged, although the release of Steam for Macintosh computers and the launch of the App Store for the iPhone and iPad has allowed third parties to make Apple hardware increasingly viable games formats.

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Latest comments (10)

Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 6 years ago
This still isn't going to get big companies switching all their computers over to iMacs.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D6 years ago
It's crazy how many macs there are on TV. Seems like everyone uses them. My wife and I have been watching a lot of House recently, and even there it's all Macs. Even IN the hospital.

I wonder how much of a discount apple gives studios to get their stuff on TV.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 6 years ago
What I've always found funny years ago is how they use Macbooks on Match of the Day but they just put a football sticker over the Apple icon.

But yes Fran I agree, you see them a lot more nowadays certainly. But I still think it's more to do with the fashion statement really. When everyone working in healthcare and offices here start ditching their PC's and replace them all with Macs, then we'll talk.
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Antony Johnston Writer & Narrative Designer 6 years ago
Fran: To the best of my knowledge (certainly true until a few years ago) Apple doesn't actually pay for product placement*. It's more that most Hollywood creatives use Macs, and they look cooler, so they get used for set dressing. I'm waiting for everyone to start slinging iPads around, myself.

*[ETA: And the point being, because they don't need to. If they weren't going to be used anyway, Apple might change their minds about that.]

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Antony Johnston on 27th May 2010 11:38am

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Josef Brett Animator 6 years ago
I've been a lifelong user and owner of Macs and a few years ago I would have taken some odd sort of pride in this news. Obviously Macs as such don't exist anymore, so all this discussion of 'will they be the dominant platform' is a bit pointless.

Either way, it's a nice big win for Intel (though the Apple profits presumably don't come from their actual computers does it, so it's a big win for ARM or whover provides the chips for the iphone/pod touch/pad).

Sorry, a bit ranty I know, but it annoys me that the company sold it's soul (to Intel and for fashion) and now all 'Mac' users are labelled as pretentious tw@s (whereas we used to be geeky tw@s). Ce la Vie, that's business I guess.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 6 years ago
Apple are very good at marketing. Once advertising for cigarettes became legislated and difficult they found a superior way via Hollywood and portraying popular actors smoking.

Apple very much have had these tactics at the core of there campaign. I remember writing a paper about five years ago how it was common to see in Hollywood the villains using generic computers and the heroes using Apples.

Even buying an iPhone comes with two Apple stickers to assist in the grass roots marketing campaign.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 27th May 2010 12:51pm

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Gregory Keenan6 years ago
I wonder how much of that evaluation is based on the iPhone? iPhone sales have recently been in decline against Android. [link url=http://blogs.computerworld.com/16081/android_whips_the_iphone_in_2010_sales_will_apple_celebrate
]http://blogs.computerworld.com/16081/and...[/link]

Well the market does like to bet on the future - maybe they know something we dont
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Antony Johnston Writer & Narrative Designer 6 years ago
@Shane: For what it's worth, the Apple stickers have been a freebie with every new Mac since at least the mid-'90s. I should know, I've got a drawer full of them!
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Antony Cain Lecturer in Computer Games Design, Sunderland College6 years ago
Less revenue, less than half the profit and less unit sales = bigger company?

Confused!
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Tameem Antoniades Creative Director & Co-founder, Ninja Theory Ltd6 years ago
Faster growth.
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