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 nafhan on 5/8/2012 10:21:51 AM , Rating: 2
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
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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