By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
Smashing a record set by Microsoft 13 years ago, Apple (AAPL) became the most valuable company stock in trading history today, closing out at a per share price of $660.73 with a market cap of $620.50 billion. The figure eclipse Redmond’s previous record of $618.89 Billion set in 1999. Before inflation of course.
Now, to be fair, if you indexed Microsoft’s 1999 value for inflation, it would still eclipse Cupertino by more than $200 Billion dollars. But things don’t happen in a vacuum and Microsoft has continued to trade since it’s record was set in 1999. And it’s a shadow of it’s former self. So that Apple was able to cruise by it in today’s stock trading is no great surprise.
Posting first quarter sales figures, Apple closed out revenues at $39.2 billion, doubling Microsoft’s $17.41 billion in sales. Putting it another way, Cupertino is so valuable, you could take the sales of the iPhone alone and outsell all of Microsoft‘s businesses – XBox, Windows, the whole works.
And the iPhone 5 hasn’t even been launched yet. But it’s effect has already been felt after news that analysts and tech watchers expect iPhone 5 sales to surpass 250 Million handsets for $47 BILLION in revenue. Yikes. That’s some serious market share, one that which will be fueled by iPhone sales in China, which stands to be roughly 1/3 of the iOS devices sold. What’s fueling the analysis? The new iPhone looks to finally get a larger screen, more powerful CPU, and even rumored to finally adopt 4G/LTE support.
But let’s set that aside for a moment, in just the last quarter, Apple posted iPhone sales of $22.7 billion, even though the iPhone 5 is going to be coming out later this year. You’d think that we’d be in the window that users would adopt a wait and see approach until the next generation iPhone comes out. But that isn’t the case, as Cupertino posted record sales for the iPhone 4S when it was launched last year, and that record looks to be eclipsed by the new iPhone when it’s announced next month (at least that’s the conventional wisdom).
I think it’s safe to say that Tim Cook is doing a good job at the helm, having weathered storms of labor issues at FoxConn in China, the hiccup of SIRI, the never ending protracted legal battles against Samsung and Google, and the market share challenge from Android. Course, all he has to do is keep doing what Steve Jobs did. Focus on the user experience and keep designs cool and desirable. And that seems to be what he’s doing. And who knows just how deep the bench is of Jobs shepherded projects? We haven’t even gotten to the iTV yet and it’s impact, or the rumored Apple gaming platform. We could be seeing Jobs impact for years, leaving Cook to manage the company as he keeps mining the golden eggs left by the goose.
One thing is certain though, you have to feel for Microsoft. After having dominated the PC world for so long, they reach out and help Apple with a key stock purchase that solidifies the company, and then Cupertino sees the mobile trend faster and passes them up like a semi heading east bound and down.
The only real question is … how high can it go?
Hat Tip – 9to5Mac