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Print 22 comment(s) - last by TakinYourPoint.. on May 10 at 1:59 PM

Microsoft is twenty spots behind Apple; HP, Verizon, and AT&T are a bit ahead of it

Apple, Inc. (AAPL), the world's most profitable smartphone maker, may trample most corporations in market capitalization (total value of outstanding shares) and profits, but it is relatively far from the top of the latest Fortune 500 List for 2012, which ranks companies by adjusted revenue figures.

Apple's $108B+ USD revenue in 2011 was good enough to bump it from 35th to 17th.  That's twenty spots ahead of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) which managed to creep upwards one spot on $69.9B USD revenue fueled by windfall sales of Windows 7, the fastest selling operating system in history.

Apple was just a hair ahead of 100+ year veteran International Business Machines, Inc. (IBM) which dropped to 19th place from an 18th place showing in 2011.

Apple store NYC
A record year propelled Apple upwards in the global corporate revenue rankings, but it remains behind a couple tech giants, according to Fortune. [Image Source: Double DT]

America's largest carrier Verizon Communications -- the joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD) -- placed 15th, but second place rival AT&T, Inc. (T) came in four spots ahead in 11th, on merits of a more diverse, higher revenue portfolio.

Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ), still clinging to the world's top spot in computer sales, and Ford Motor Comp. (F) the bailout-free star of Detroit, Michigan, were #10 and #9 respectively.  General Electric Comp. (GE) a notorious tax-absconder, and General Motors Comp. (GM), the revitalized bailout recipient were #6 and #5, respectively, in revenue.

Three of the top top four spots were occupied by oil companies with only Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) breaking into the top ten.  Wal-Mart was bumped from number one by Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), a company second only to Apple in market capitalization and profit.

This was the Fortune 500 List's 58th year. The list is a yearly feature in Fortune magazine, a publication of Time Warner, Inc. (TWX).  Time Warner pulled no punches -- the former AOL owner's own rank this year fell from 95th to 103rd.

Source: CNN Money



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RE: I don't understand...
By TakinYourPoints on 5/8/2012 1:55:27 AM , Rating: 3
I disagree, primarily because their business is so well run on top of them having such desirable and profitable products.

The interesting thing is that if we are looking at valuation based on price-to-earning multiple, Google is far more overvalued in comparison as it has a higher PE (and let's not even talk about the bubble Amazon is in). This is despite the fact that Apple continues to grow their profits at a significantly faster rate and pulls in much higher gross revenue.

Apple made more in one quarter than Google did all year and their growth continues to accelerate, yet it has a PE multiple more in line with IBM (which has been on a similar tear as AAPL) and Microsoft, both "mature" dividend paying stocks. AAPL's PE is actually near historical lows despite the stock price being at all-time highs. It is being valued like a mature stock, not a growth stock.

The fear you talk about has been depressing AAPL's price since 2009. It is already priced in. The only thing putting its price where it is are actual earnings.

If you missed the boat on AAPL, I don't know what to say.

quote:
They depend on so many companies (Google for primary applications, Foxconn for manufacturing, Samsung for components, etc)


This means nothing, what do those companies gain by pulling away from Apple? Google makes more money from maps and search on iOS than they do on Android, about double the amount, despite the lower number of iOS devices out there. iOS traffic is so much higher than Android's that pulling maps and search from the iPhone would lose Google billions. Apple is also one of Foxconn's and Samsung's largest clients, both companies make billions off of them. The Foxxcon argument is particularly random given that nearly every other hardware company out there (HP, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Amazon, etc etc) depends on them for manufacturing. What kind of point are you trying to make with them?

Your argument infers that the above companies would be better served if they stopped supplying to Apple. All these companies would do is lose money while other companies took them on. All that matters are the products.

quote:
and the only thing they make in-house is design, easily copied, and improved upon.


The interesting thing is that nobody has yet improved upon their strong developer community, applications, marketplace, security, or centralized support. You're guaranteed OS updates on a 3 year old iPhone while ICS still makes up only about 1% of Android devices out there.

quote:
The iPhone STILL doesn't have LTE/Wimax, 3.5" screen and on-screen keyboard isn't ideal, the iPad has no native printing support, jailbreaking is essential to get an 'open' experience from any IOS device, and so on.


Anandtech covered this last year. LTE will happen with the Qualcomm 28nm LTE chips coming out this year. If Apple put them in the iPhone last year it would have resulted in a severe drop in battery life compared to the prior model, unacceptable.

Screen size is a legit concern for some, and if you want a bigger one then there are plenty of other devices out there.

A good on-screen keyboard (ie - the one in iOS or WP7) is much better than physical for me, I'm never going back.

List of iPad compatible printers, seems like a lot to me: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4356

The "open" argument for Android makes little sense to me given that "open" is primarily in aid of service providers and hardware manufacturers. They are open to install crapware, custom UIs, and they are free to not support OS upgrades for hardware that is under a year old. On top of that developer support continues to be weak.

What good is an "open platform" if the best developers aren't even on it? If "open" mattered to me then I'd run Ubuntu instead of Windows, but no, I want a larger selection of applications. Simple.

Cheers.


RE: I don't understand...
By nafhan on 5/8/2012 10:21:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The "open" argument for Android makes little sense to me given that "open" is primarily in aid of service providers and hardware manufacturers.
Come on just say it: the "open" argument makes little sense to you because that's not how Apple does it. :)

For serious, though, "crapware and custom UI's" could just as easily happen on a closed source OS (see: almost every Windows PC for examples). In fact, those things could and would happen on any system where the carrier/OEM/etc. is allowed to install and run arbitrary code.

The open source nature of Android is most beneficial to those who would like to experiment or alter or create a cell phone operating system, but would otherwise not have access to do so. It's also beneficial to those who would like to do things that the carriers/OEM's would rather block access to. In other words, the direct benefits of the source code being accessible, mostly, are not for large OEM's or carriers, as they would have the capability to change or request changes to the OS regardless of closed vs. open.

Just to be clear: I do think "crapware" and some OEM skins on Android are a problem. It just has little or nothing to do with Android being open source. I also think there are obvious benefits for OEM's and carriers using Android, mostly related to getting a modern cell phone OS for free.


RE: I don't understand...
By TakinYourPoints on 5/8/2012 11:48:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just to be clear: I do think "crapware" and some OEM skins on Android are a problem. It just has little or nothing to do with Android being open source. I also think there are obvious benefits for OEM's and carriers using Android, mostly related to getting a modern cell phone OS for free.


It has everything to do with Android being open for carriers to tinker with. That and decentralized/non-curated app markets are huge problems for Android.

I believe Google would have a much stronger platform if they had greater control over it. Ex-GM from Microsoft Charlie Kindel made an interesting post regarding Google slowly divesting itself of Android and releasing an OS that they have more control over. I think it would be good for them.


RE: I don't understand...
By nafhan on 5/9/2012 1:27:25 PM , Rating: 2
You don't seem to have a good grasp of the term "open source" and what it entails in this case. Open source and being able to run arbitrary binary programs are two completely different things. You seem to be deciding they're the same and vaguely calling them both "open". I've seen very little evidence of carriers "tinkering" with the source code, and they really have no reason to as they can run everything they want to run without doing that.

What's being abused by the carriers in almost all cases is the ability to run any program they choose, and this could happen with open or closed source operating systems. Go back to my Windows example. You wouldn't call Windows "open source", would you? And yet: lots of pre-installed crapware.

The part about Google divesting itself from Android... I could see that happening in the way Charlie Kindel describes. I don't feel like it's a sure thing, but it's an interesting possibility.


RE: I don't understand...
By TakinYourPoints on 5/10/2012 1:59:00 PM , Rating: 2
I am talking about the OS being open for other parties to tinker with in this case, yes. It is a huge negative for Android IMHO, especially given that so many solutions for issues I see are to either run vanilla Nexus devices or to root the device yourself. Carriers and hardware vendors are one factor that gets in the way of a better experience.


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