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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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