You have probably been hearing plenty about Apple’s success recently, and for good reason. Of all the tech giants, Apple is in a league of its own.
Although Apple has been around since 1976, when it was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne to sell personal computers, it really evolved into the consumer electronics beast we know today with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, which put it on an unparalleled growth trajectory.
Prior to this, Apple had enjoyed success in the 80s with the Mac, a down turn in the 90s with a lack of leadership and direction and a return to profitability in the early part of 2000s with the introduction of the iPod in 2001, which really laid the blueprint for future success.
Even the loss of Apple’s legendary leader Steve Jobs only dented the organisation’s profitability and although many were forecasting the end of Apple’s dominance during this period, a quick look at the recent results suggests this was very much wide of the mark.
On February 10th, 2015, Apple became the world’s first $700bn company as shares rose 1.9% to $122.02, valuing the company at $710.7bn (£465.8bn) on the back of rapid growth in China and forecasts for strong sales of the Apple Watch, due to go on sale in April 2015.
To put this into perspective, Apple is almost twice as large as Exxon Mobil, the world’s second largest company by market capitalisation. Google Inc currently sits fourth at $363 billion, according to FactSet.
So why the continued growth? Well, in financial terms, Apple’s new products just keep taking it to new levels of income, and its new products are priced at the top end of the market, but still outsell cheaper products. For example, it made $18bn in the final three months of 2014 – or $8.3m an hour following the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S.
The infographic below from Business Insider shows exactly where Apple’s money comes from up to the end of 2014, and also how Apple compares to other companies.
The question then becomes, where will Apple’s share value be this time next year?