Since the iPhone launched, Apple has made more than Microsoft and Alphabet combined

“iPhones are a great business,” Mike Murphy writes for Quartz.

“Since its debut a decade ago”,” Murphy writes, “Apple has made as much money as Microsoft — a company against whom it fought for the hearts and minds of computer owners for decades — and Alphabet — who former Apple CEO Steve Jobs launched a ‘thermonuclear war’ against after it launched a competing smartphone operating system—combined.”

“Adjusted for inflation since 2007, Apple has brought in $321.02 billion, and together, Alphabet and Microsoft have brought in a nearly-identical $320.7 billion,” Murphy writes. “Even in nominal terms, Apple’s profits have totaled $307, compared to Alphabet and Microsoft’s $301 billion.”

Read more in the full article here.

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  1. If Apple is pulling in the green so strongly, what prevents Apple’s P/E from going up close to where Microsoft’s and Alphabet’s P/E sit? Apple would seem to have as much to offer in terms of growth as either of those two companies, except for the fact that they’re mostly dealing with software while Apple is dealing in hardware. I’m not complaining about this but I’d honestly like to know where my misunderstanding lies.

    I realize the iPhone is basically selling in a saturated smartphone market, so it’s possible if Apple finds another decent revenue stream, Apple’s P/E will rise higher. It’s just that I tend to associate a higher P/E with investors believing a company has a better future than they do with a company having a lower P/E. I figure that’s why Apple is always seen as a doomed company. Investors don’t seem to have the confidence Apple has any growth left. It’s just weird to me.

    Imagine if Apple had been using that cash hoard over the years to actively grow the company like Amazon does. It’s possible Apple could have long ago reached that $1T market cap. Of course, that’s just my theoretical take. However, companies can end up growing too fast and that’s not always a good thing. Product focus can get lost along the way.

    I believe Apple is doing just fine as it is but Wall Street rarely seems to be satisfied with the company’s near-stellar performance. Critics nitpicking over a possibly delayed iPhone launch is absolutely preposterous.

    1. Wall Street always regards Apple as a one-trick pony. Originally they only produced Macs. Then they only produced iPods and now they only produce iPhones. If Apple we’re to release a wildly successful car, the company would still be doomed as it would be claimed to be so dependent on that one product.

      The reality is entirely different and I think that Tim Cook is trying to change that perception by regularly pointing out things like how Apple’s services alone would count as a Fortune 500 company, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears.

      With regards to your observation about the smartphone market being saturated, I think it’s important to bear in mind that there are two ends of that market. The cheap end of the smartphone market is saturated, but the premium end of the smartphone market has potential for growth as newer users discover that there are better options than their cheap smartphone. Apple only operates in that premium part of the market and performs very strongly in that sector.

    2. easy to explain. AAPL’s BACN trajectory with respect to CFE (+-BUN) will always be greater than MSFT or GOOG. Granted, easier to track EGG YTD than intangibles.

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