AAPL to catch MSFT?

April 21, 2010

Apple reported a blowout quarter Tuesday, selling 8.8 million iPhones, a new record high. That’s three years after the device was released.

At posting time, Yahoo Finance shows the shares indicating up $14 (nearly 6%) to $261. The after-hours market is thin, so these gains may not hold on the open tomorrow. If they do, it would boost AAPL’s market cap $13 billion to $237 billion.

Don’t look now, but AAPL is the third largest public company in the U.S. If the gains stick, its market cap would be 13% behind Microsoft’s.

Even if they don’t, it’s amazing to think about how far the company has come since the dark days when John Sculley then Michael Spindler then Gil Amelio ran the firm.

In 1997, not long after Jobs took over from Amelio, AAPL shares were selling for just $4 (split-adjusted) and Michael Dell told a symposium what he would do to solve the company’s problems: “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

Today Dell’s market cap is $33 billion, not even a sixth of AAPL’s.

Meanwhile, who needs the desktop? MSFT’s share of that market still dwarfs AAPL’s. Nevertheless, Jobs is poised to pass them not only by market cap, but also by revenue. Analysts estimate that MSFT’s fiscal year revenue (ending June) will be $61 billion, they put AAPL’s FY revenue (ending Sept) at $55 billion.

With the iPhone as strong as ever and the iPad having sold 500k units already, it’s probably a good bet Jobs will indeed surmount his rival.

3 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

[...] Rolfe Winkler: AAPL to catch MSFT? [...]

Its more like Eve and the snake.

Posted by Ghandiolfini | Report as abusive

When I think about jobs and Microsoft, I think about this:

http://www.nlcnet.org/reports?id=0034

Posted by HBC | Report as abusive

[...] 13 years ago nobody expected Apple to catch Microsoft (MSFT) in market cap.  (Rolfe WInkler) [...]

Nobody wants what MSFT makes. It’s that simple

Posted by Storyburncom_is | Report as abusive