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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 5/9/2012 12:05:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apple's R&D as a % of revenue is about the lowest there is in the tech industry. Like Sony, they're fast becoming a marketing company selling other companies' products by slapping their brand name label onto it.

Unless they revive their in-house R&D and production, that name recognition is only going to carry them so far before people figure out that they can buy pretty much the same product elsewhere for a lower price. e.g. The Macbooks are designed and manufactured by Quanta, who also designs and makes most of the HP and some of the Dell laptops. Those HPs and Dells which are "copying" the Macbooks? They're not actually copies, they just look alike because they were designed and manufactured by the same (Taiwanese) people.


Completely incorrect. Apple does their own R&D, board design, SoC design (the A4/A5/A5X are in-house, believe it or not), and chassis machining in-house, after which they contract physical production out to their specs. When it came to the transition to machined aluminum, Apple actually spent hundreds of millions of dollars themselves on the equipment to make their aluminum chassis with.

Apple's percentage R&D is low compared to other companies simply because they don't make that many products. They only spend on what they decide to focus on, and their focus is extremely tight. When Jobs came back to Apple he reduced the Mac product line from dozens of models to only four (pro/consumer laptop/desktop), and he axed things like printers. If Apple releases a phone, it is only one model per year. If they release a tablet, it is one model per year. Laptop and desktop designs last them for years, the only difference being the CPU/GPU inside.

Compare this with other tech companies that not only release dozens of smartphones, they also make TVs, set-top players, washers and dryers, you name it. Any PC manufacturer has dozens of product lines while Apple only has a few, and they are differentiated primarily on display size and thickness.

In any case, to say that the companies that they contract physical production to is actually responsible for Apple's product designs is totally wrong.


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