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 aliasfox on 5/8/2012 2:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
Apple still does a lot of design in-house - the CNC machined and lasered enclosures for MacBooks are something that nobody else has access to at the moment, and to say iPads and iMacs are farmed out in terms of design work sounds kind of absurd.

That said, you can see a bit of what you're talking about in some of their low-end stuff. Take the last plastic MacBook, for example. It was reasonably pretty and a reasonable computer, but change the white enclosure to a textured grey and you could pretty much pop a Dell logo in place of the Apple and you'd have a nice Inspiron instead.

I will agree on the R&D - smart R&D and acquisitions are the best long term use of the cash hoarde that Apple has, not dividends. The best thing to do when you're ahead of the game is to stay ahead of the game.

Insourcing production though doesn't seem like the right idea. The kind of massive scale in terms of human labor that all of these companies need is something the US won't be able to do without making these devices cost much more than they already do.

As to your last point - I can forsee a day where Apple's no longer at the top of the game, but I don't think I'll ever see the day where Apple won't try to be luxury - nicely designed enclosures, upper-end components (almost the entire line is i7 based right now), and nice interfaces (screens, keyboards, touchpads) will likely be Apple's hallmark.

RE: I don't understand...
By douchefree on 5/8/2012 10:27:00 PM , Rating: 2
I take it you haven't seen the HTC One series of machined polycarb with laser drilled speaker holes. This isn't super high technology. Car manufacturers have done this for decades. If you want really high tech mass production look to CMOS manufacturing. Those factories cost billions to build.

RE: I don't understand...
By TakinYourPoints on 5/9/2012 12:08:35 AM , Rating: 2
Insourcing production though doesn't seem like the right idea.

It isn't. Apple/HP/Dell aside, the poster child for this is IBM spinning off their laptop division to Lenovo. The result has been a resurgence in the company, just look at how their profits exploded since they refocused their business.

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