Fortune: Once there were four, but now Apple is the lone horseman of technology

Invisible Shield for Apple iPhone 4!“It used to be one of the favorite thought exercises in the technology realm — putting together a list of the Four Horsemen of Technology, the four most important public companies of their time,” Duff McDonald writes for Fortune.

“Then the tech and credit bubbles burst, and people stopped making their lists,” McDonald writes. “When I called Pip Coburn, CEO of Coburn Ventures, a technology advisory company, to talk about the four horsemen of today, his answer caught me off guard. ‘There’s only one horseman,’ he said. ‘It’s Apple. There’s nobody else.'”

McDonald writes, “On the face of it, he’s right. Apple is the most valuable technology company in existence with a market capitalization of $233 billion. It is also the only company that technology investors can agree on. ‘You have no idea how many conversations about investing I have that start in general and end up on Apple,’ says Coburn. ‘And then they just stay there.'”

Full article, most notable for saying Apple is the lone horseman than for which companies were and might be someday be horsemen, here.


  1. @breeze…
    VERY good article… brings a real perspective back to the issues at hand. Thanks for pointing it out.

    As for Apple and other ponies… Apple is winning the Trifecta of racing and all the other wannabes are still pulling trotters. (Not that a good trotter isn’t fun to watch but I’d rather bet on the thoroughbred).

    The trifecta? iPhone 4, iPad, Macs (Desktop and Laptops)… all winning!

    Can’t wait for the iPhone 4 here in Oz. Still no ship date! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”confused” style=”border:0;” />


  2. @ fragile ecosystem,

    Almost all electronic gadgets, including anything made by Apple’s rivals, are made in Asia. Almost all components needed are made in Asia. It seems to me that everyone is in the same boat. The Global Economy is going nowhere soon.

    If you think that protecting the environment will replace the protection that import tariffs used to give inefficient, labor union infested, America only businesses, you’re shit out of luck.

  3. @Fragile Ecosytem “There is a tipping point where air shipment of components from countries with cheap labor and lax environmental laws becomes unviable”

    Interesting point you make but without an insider’s view in the form of sensitivity-analysis of transportation cost impact on profitability, one can’t really tell if this is specific to Apple or applicable to all manufacturers.

    We’re not talking about steel sheet, pipe or girders that become economically unviable to transport beyond a certain distance but rather, a premium brand commanding THE highest prices with THE highest demand for it products in ALL its choice of markets. (see comments by Breeze above)

    So I don’t see an issue here.

  4. Apple is focussed, M$ is rudderless.
    Apple is clean, M$ is vulgar.
    Apple is hip, M$ can’t even buy hip any more.
    Apple leads, innovates, takes big risks and works darned hard. M$ is bloated and top-heavy.
    Apple puts its presence in a few key areas, M$ demands a piece of every last pie.

    Remember, Apple did not falter for one moment when Jobs was ill. They have people like Jonny Ive and Tim Cook and Phil Schiller. Jobs is driven, and only those who are like him can work under him.

    If these companies were people, Apple would be a pro cyclist and Micros**t would be a loudmouthed bully with a fat wallet and four ex-wives.

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