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Print 31 comment(s) - last by KoolAidMan1.. on Jan 17 at 12:23 PM

Apple's market cap hits psychological milestone

While there is a bit of negative press surrounding Apple today (borked iPhone alarms), the future for the Cupertino giant is looking quite bright. The iPhone 4's expansion to Verizon Wireless is fast approaching (a fully supported Verizon "iPad 2" shouldn’t be too far behind), the Mac OS X App Store is launching this week, and Mac computer sales have been seeing an uptick over the past few quarters.

The company has now passed another “milestone” now that its stock has climbed to nearly $330 a share. As a result, the company now has a market capitalization of roughly $302 billion. 

If you recall, Apple's market cap was around $222 billion in late May of last year, putting it slightly ahead of Microsoft which was hovering around $219 billion. Microsoft's market cap today is $240 billion

For reference, Exxon Mobile has a market cap of $368 billion while Google sits at $193 billion

To back up the lofty $300+ billion market cap, Forbes' Eric Savitz says that Apple is projected to bring in revenue of $88 billion for the fiscal 2011, putting it ahead of Microsoft's estimated $68 billion. However, Apple is still expecting to trail behind Hewlett-Packard (est. $129 billion) and IBM (est. $99 billion) for fiscal 2011 revenue. 

With Apple expected to make a few waves in the form of new product in the coming weeks and months, it should be interesting to see if there is a ceiling to the stock's meteoric rise.



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Who cares?
By Exodite on 1/3/2011 1:13:30 PM , Rating: 5
No really, who?

It's not like stock price has any real relevance when it comes to actual worth, let alone significance, for a company.

All it means is that the whims of people, unchecked by reality, are free to make or break companies and the global economy alike.

Don't get me wrong, Apple makes some awesome products but news that they had reached 5% global market share, as an example, in the notebook/desktop computer segment would have been significant.

All this tells me is that there's a big hot-air bubble hovering around with Apple inside.




RE: Who cares?
By Tony Swash on 1/3/2011 3:05:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No really, who?

It's not like stock price has any real relevance when it comes to actual worth, let alone significance, for a company.

All it means is that the whims of people, unchecked by reality, are free to make or break companies and the global economy alike.

Don't get me wrong, Apple makes some awesome products but news that they had reached 5% global market share, as an example, in the notebook/desktop computer segment would have been significant.

All this tells me is that there's a big hot-air bubble hovering around with Apple inside.


Although I agree that market cap is not great indicator of inherent strength or future performance it is worth noting the astonishing journey that Apple has undertaken in the last decade.

Just a decade ago Apple were marginal more or less every where, and what I mean by marginal was that although Apple back then was a big business and its financial situation had stabilised, and it made products that had a significant and dedicated customer base, Apple was not a key player in any field or in any market segment. Even after Steve Jobs had been back in control for three years it wasn't clear if Apple knew where it was going and nobody, even it's biggest fans, believed that Apple could once again shake the tech world or indeed make lots of money as it had once done.

Back in January 2001 Apple still only made computers and those still ran an OS that was itself nearly fifteen years old and clearly sclerotic.

In 2001 Apple released the first version of the long promised MacOSX. Who knew where that was going to lead, not only to a resurgence of Apple's traditional computer business (allowing it to capture the lions share of the profits in that sector and to achieve complete domination in some very critical market segments) but eventually to iOS and a whole new raft of devices.

In 2001 Apple released the first version of the iPod to great puzzlement and scepticism from tech and market commentators. Who knew that Apple were going to sell 300 million plus or that that first humble 5Gb Mac only music player would morph into the current iPod Touch.

In 2001 Apple opened it's first retail store to almost complete derision. Now we know that it was part of a major change in the tech world, the move from the domination of enterprise IT to the domination of the consumer market, a change Apple would be a major player in shaping. Now the Apple retail stores are probably the most successful retail operations on the planet and certainly the fastest growing.

So we can poo poo Apple's market cap but the company has simply done astonishingly well in the last decade and it shows no sign of slowing down or faltering and in the last year galvanised and now dominates the once insipid tablet market with a version one product.

What a ride.


RE: Who cares?
By lolmuly on 1/3/2011 4:20:18 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
astonishing journey that Apple has undertaken in the last decade.

                 ^
I stopped reading right there.


RE: Who cares?
By Tony Swash on 1/3/11, Rating: 0
RE: Who cares?
By Aloonatic on 1/4/2011 8:16:14 AM , Rating: 5
Almost as much as a closed OS is a good thing to use? ;o)


RE: Who cares?
By Solandri on 1/3/2011 5:34:37 PM , Rating: 3
It's not even a full decade. I remember in 2003 I heard a news blurb about AAPL dipping below $22 a share. I thought to myself, wasn't that what it originally IPOed at in the 1980s? Looked it up and sure enough it was. Even though Apple's market was kinda marginal, they were a household name, so I figured they had to be pretty safe.

So I did some research on their products to see if it might be worth dropping a few $k in AAPL. They'd screwed over a bunch of business partners by deciding not to license MacOS to them anymore, Jobs was back at the helm and seemed to be obsessed with the color of the plastic on the computers, and they had this newfangled MP3 player called an iPod. The silly thing weighed more and had less capacity than the competition, while costing nearly twice as much. It didn't even have an FM radio! I fled in terror like a little girl.

AAPL is at $329 right now. Apparently the buying public and I disagree on what makes a good product.


RE: Who cares?
By DarkElfa on 1/3/2011 5:50:20 PM , Rating: 3
If they smart, the stock holders would sell their stock right now, because when old Stevie boy kicks the bucket, that stock is gonna tank like the Hindenburg.


RE: Who cares?
By sprockkets on 1/3/2011 11:13:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apparently the buying public and I disagree on what makes a good product.


Na, you just underestimated how many stupid people are in this world.


RE: Who cares?
By michael2k on 1/4/2011 12:30:50 AM , Rating: 2
Not buying AAPL at $22 seems pretty stupid to me!


RE: Who cares?
By Tony Swash on 1/4/2011 7:41:33 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Na, you just underestimated how many stupid people are in this world.


I know it shouldn't shock me but I am always taken aback by the witless arrogance of the tech luddites as they stare in slack jawed incomprehension at the new tech landscape and clutch desperately at the certainties of a yesterday long passed whilst telling millions of other people that they are stupid! Breathtaking.

Trying to explain the world and the rise and fall of different gadgets and technologies by claiming that hundreds of millions of people are stupid and that they have somehow made the wrong purchasing decision just makes you look stupid.


RE: Who cares?
By sprockkets on 1/4/2011 11:51:58 AM , Rating: 2
It's a joke, dumbass


RE: Who cares?
By michael2k on 1/4/2011 12:34:15 AM , Rating: 2
What do you consider a good product if the iPhone, iPod, iPod touch, iPad, and AppleTV aren't?


RE: Who cares?
By EasyC on 1/4/2011 7:00:36 AM , Rating: 3
Something that costs less, does more, and lets you hold any way you desire.

...just a start.


RE: Who cares?
By Aloonatic on 1/4/2011 11:56:19 AM , Rating: 2
Well, if you're just talking about phones then, in the interests of fairness, you need to add to your list that alternatives didn't arrive for a fair while. Even then it took the competition a little while longer to be truly competitive.

So, to update your list:

quote:
Something that costs less, does more, and lets you hold any way you desire [, as long as you didn't mind waiting a year or two ]
Sorry, don't shoot the messenger :o)


RE: Who cares?
By michael2k on 1/4/2011 3:28:14 PM , Rating: 2
Wait, so a good product is defined by it costing less than a product you think isn't good?

So a $16k Civic isn't a good product because you can get a $12k Kia that does more?

Yet the Civic is universally acclaimed as a "good product".

Also, per your complaints, the first 3 iPhones didn't have that problem, so were they good products?

I think what it is, is you have Anything But Apple syndrome. You dislike how Apple designs, implements, markets, and prices their goods.

Because according to iPod, iPhone, and iPad sales, all three are critical successes.


RE: Who cares?
By EasyC on 1/6/2011 8:30:25 AM , Rating: 2
No, I don't have an ABA problem. This is what I do have...

* I have a problem paying 3x the price for PC hardware in a shiny case with an OS with roots tied to open source...
* I then have a problem paying to update said OS with bug fixes because the company very rarely does free patching, but more or less rolls them into new OS versions instead...
* I have a problem with forced obsolescence of a product when the new product can't even perform it's core function to satisfaction under normal conditions (read: make a damn phone call)...
* I have a problem seeing obvious manufacturer defects being portrayed as the responsibility of the end user and not the company who made them. (read: you're holding it wrong, don't use your product below the mason dixon line in sunlight, etc)...
* I have a problem with a company marketting it's product as "magical" or "innovative" when indeed it's last year's technology in a bigger case, with even more restriction(read: iPad)...
* I have a problem with a company dictating what I can and cannot do with a device that I paid for with my own cash (read: every Apple product)...

but most of all...

* I have a HUGE problem with the forcefed ignorance of a user who thinks that because they own said product, that it is the Alpha Omega product in which no other can compare. It is the end all be all of it's niche and to suggest an alternative will only encourage a barrage of condescending, ignorant, smug-filled blabber to give me a head ache.

The day Apple releases a product that actually passes a real QA phase by a qualified human instead of quadriplegic monkeys, doesn't tie you down more than a Class 5 mental patient, can be used in normal conditions like an 80 degree day, won't be forced into obsolescence by the company's own software updates, will play nicely with OTHER tech from OTHER companies, and is priced reasonably with regards to competition, is the day I will consider making my donation to the Church of Jobs.


RE: Who cares?
By KoolAidMan1 on 1/17/2011 12:23:39 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, you're just clueless and shortsighted. :)

I know people that bought in the same price range. They are doing very well.

You snooze you lose.


Apple who?
By SSDMaster on 1/3/2011 12:44:28 PM , Rating: 2
When was the last time you bought an Apple anything? I bought an iPod a few years ago back when I bought music. Now I just stream everything to my Droid from Pandora. Hook that up to my Car stereo and I'm good...

No real need to store music any more. Don't need an iPad to "browse the internet on my couch". When I get home the last thing I want to do is get on the computer after working on them all day.

Are all the trendy customer's who buy Apple products "still discovering" Apple? Who can afford their stuff these days!?!?! I can barely afford new tires for my car.




RE: Apple who?
By Hiawa23 on 1/3/2011 1:25:56 PM , Rating: 4
When was the last time you bought an Apple anything?

Never have. Too expensive for my tastes. They should be printing money at this point, as they have a huge following, & alot of user will buy any new by em, whether they need it nor not.


RE: Apple who?
By lifewatcher on 1/3/2011 2:45:20 PM , Rating: 2
Apple is like the loud and obnoxious pretty girl at the party, who everyone wants to screw. Luckily I've always been repulsed by the arrogant ones, so Steve won't see my dollar. Looks like he's doing well without me anyways...

For what it's worth, I shall admit that I have respect for their marketing, design and gambling spirit, when it comes to pushing new products to the market.


RE: Apple who?
By inperfectdarkness on 1/5/2011 12:05:54 AM , Rating: 2
totally agree. i'll take the earthy 7/10 brunette in the corner giving me dirty looks with her eyes...over the god-awful paris hilton type any day.

wait...what were we talking about again?


RE: Apple who?
By Shadowmaster625 on 1/4/2011 8:23:04 AM , Rating: 2
Who can afford apple products? Public sector employees.


Very Interesting
By atlmann10 on 1/3/2011 10:37:39 PM , Rating: 3
"$22; I thought to myself, wasn't that what it originally IPOed at in the 1980s?"

CES will be in a few days. Of course the iPhone Apple's savior has been being eaten at slowly for a few months now. Dual core basically mini pc's are going to be all over CES with new Android, W7, BB, all kinds of other smart phones are going to be everywhere. The tablets will as well with expanded memory in ROM and Ram flavors, Tegra2, A9, and several other single and dual core processors, and input output of every kind.

I would say if Apple stock is that high sell it now, as it will decline slowly at first, and more rapidly as the year goes by. No it won't crash this year, I actually give them a bit more time than the last time they fell off the world. Either way even though they may have more market points and capitalization now, those also cost money to support.

So with multiple wounds to bleed from they will go down fast when they start to fall. Just like the last time they will start selling various divisions, and then patents. That will keep them afloat for some time. The problem for Apple is competition. Yes they may be strong or whatever, but when you alone hold a single position that is a market, and all your competitors are whittling away at that single point all together, you will almost certainly go down, just like 89 all over again.

I know I am going to get many people stating otherwise, and rating me down for saying this. Apple is nowhere near bullet proof, even though they are maybe stronger now than back then. You can fight an enemy singularly, but you cannot fight an Army singularly.




RE: Very Interesting
By Tony Swash on 1/4/2011 9:34:55 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
CES will be in a few days. Of course the iPhone Apple's savior has been being eaten at slowly for a few months now. Dual core basically mini pc's are going to be all over CES with new Android, W7, BB, all kinds of other smart phones are going to be everywhere. The tablets will as well with expanded memory in ROM and Ram flavors, Tegra2, A9, and several other single and dual core processors, and input output of every kind.

I would say if Apple stock is that high sell it now, as it will decline slowly at first, and more rapidly as the year goes by. No it won't crash this year, I actually give them a bit more time than the last time they fell off the world. Either way even though they may have more market points and capitalization now, those also cost money to support.

So with multiple wounds to bleed from they will go down fast when they start to fall. Just like the last time they will start selling various divisions, and then patents. That will keep them afloat for some time. The problem for Apple is competition. Yes they may be strong or whatever, but when you alone hold a single position that is a market, and all your competitors are whittling away at that single point all together, you will almost certainly go down, just like 89 all over again.

I know I am going to get many people stating otherwise, and rating me down for saying this. Apple is nowhere near bullet proof, even though they are maybe stronger now than back then. You can fight an enemy singularly, but you cannot fight an Army singularly.


My view about the future of Apple is entirely different. I think that in a year (barring a general market melt down) their valuation will be significantly higher, Apple's revenues and profits will be much higher and they will be the more profitable than any other tech company.

I see no challenge to the iPod anywhere on the horizon, especially the iPod Touch.

The Mac sales will continue to outgrow the market and continue to dominate the high value added market segment meaning Apple will take a disproportionate slice of the desktop and laptop profits.

The iPad will remain the biggest selling tablet by far and Apple may well sell 50 million in 2010. There may be some distant Android competitor tablets but Windows tablets will tank.

The iPhone sales will double in size, again, and with an iPhone on Verizon Android phone growth will probably begin to taper off in the US.

No other company has anywhere near the same integrated production stack (from silicon to software to metal) as Apple and no other company has anywhere the same integrated services stack as Apple. The added value brought to Apple products by it's services stack is a powerful force and expect major development in this area in 2011 once Apple's new and vast data centre opens for business. Remember Apple bought Siri in April 2010. Join the dots.

So I intend to keep my Apple shares. I wish I had bought more.

Oh and one more thing. Apple will dominate CES and it won't even be in attendance :)


RE: Very Interesting
By atlmann10 on 1/4/2011 10:29:08 AM , Rating: 2
To tell you the truth I doubt it times three. As I had previously said, Apple having all the add on companies and technologies they have bought, while it does help for some things, it all also cost's extra capital. While they may in for another short term (year and a half maybe)gain more is also going out the other door as well. Not to mention, and as an example slates/tablets have caught on to some point, but have not really caught on big yet, with the iPad being the main seller right now. Everyone and there mother as well as brother will be introducing much more capable units of this type of device this year at CES.

Because of this development on applications for a slate device will grow, and most likely to a great degree. Much of this will be by small developers, and studios. However; these developments unless ported to IOS will not work on an Apple device. They will however work on any Android device across the board by any manufacturer. So an app that works on 100 devices Vs. an App that works on an iPad, iPod Touch, or an iPhone, and costs a small developer $10,000 to get on an i device, or is free to drop on an Android device.

They will start losing development other than there own, which is exactly what killed Apple last time. Not to mention one of the only reason's they maintained a very large portion of there desktop market then was because of Adobe (Photoshop specifically). I don't think Apple and Adobe are very good friends anymore though for some reason.

I am not saying they are going tom tank. I am saying year after year they will have smaller market share. It is written on the wall how it happened last time. While they have more market penetration now with iTunes/iApps all of this software still runs on one device. When as many are starting to see now the large customer base see's it as a niche market. Well then less customers buy it, less developers develop for it, and customers do not see you anymore.

When customers do not see you as a valid or attractive option anymore you are dead except for a very specialized market sector. While I stated in my last post Apple has more hands in different places market wise now. Those divisions/entities also cost more money to maintain as well. So there drop may not be as big or as fast this time around, but it will still happen.


RE: Very Interesting
By Tony Swash on 1/4/2011 11:45:52 AM , Rating: 2
What can I say man. I think you are wrong and you are wrong because like so many techie luddites you are obsessed with the past and think the future will just like the comforting past. It aint gonna happen dude. We could argue about this endlessly - lets see whose projections turn out to be more accurate. Here is my projection, in one year Apple will have 80% of the tablet market and 95% of it's profit. The year after will be the same.


ya know
By MindParadox on 1/3/2011 12:16:04 PM , Rating: 3
makes ya wonder why just about every apple freak i meet tries to sell em as the underdog against the "more money to throw around" microsoft :P




RE: ya know
By Tony Swash on 1/3/2011 12:37:24 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
makes ya wonder why just about every apple freak i meet tries to sell em as the underdog against the "more money to throw around" microsoft :P


That was so yesterday ;)


RE: ya know
By inperfectdarkness on 1/5/2011 12:04:15 AM , Rating: 2
microsoft was accused of that, rightfully so. it's the only thing that brought the xbox to market.

apple? apple has so much money it doesn't even spend it. it now uses jedi mind tricks.

*wave* "that is not a flaw, that is a feature. android is not what you are looking for."


Who knows?
By 2bdetermine on 1/3/2011 12:54:45 PM , Rating: 3
Their market cap may double again when Foxconn upgrade to a double bunk beds.




D'oh
By cruisin3style on 1/4/2011 3:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
This actually makes me a little sad since I was informed I should invest @ $250/share but did not :(




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