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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RE: Who cares?
By Tony Swash on 1/3/2011 3:05:54 PM , Rating: 2
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
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
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
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:

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.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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