click for larger graphic


I took some Apple (AAPL) off the table in late October — it was due to the combination of macro concerns, a wildly over-owned stock, and the technical weakness behind the fall from $705 to $620. But we still have a position, and after the sale, it was painful to watch Apple subsequently drop another $125 dollars to $505.75.

Regardless, some of the Apple data continues to have the power to astound. In particular, Apple’s profits, their share of mobile earnings, and their ability to create entirely new categories.

Felix Richter’s chart (above) puts Apple’s earnings into some context: For the past four quarters Apple’s earnings were $7 billion more than the combined net profit of Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG), eBay (EBAY), Yahoo (YHOO), Facebook (FB) and Amazon (AMZN) ($41.4B versus $34.4B). It was double the entire PC industry (Dell, Asus, Intel, Acer, IBM, Lenovo and HP = $19.3B).


Apple’s Astonishing Profit in Context
Felix Richter,
Statista, 26.11.2012

Category: Earnings, Technology

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

9 Responses to “Putting Apple’s Profits Into Context”

  1. stonedwino says:

    What Apple has done so far is unsustainable in the long term.

  2. Jack Damn says:

    I love Apple.

    Bought my first Mac in 1989 (SE/30). Still have it and it still runs. Their business model is sustainable for decades. Their growth will slow, obviously, maybe even plateau, but Apple will be around a couple hundred years from now. Strong, creative, and generating massive, unending shareholder value.

  3. econimonium says:

    @Jack, how many Fortune 1000 companies have been around for more than 50 years? This is the sort of Apple fanboy stuff all of us find comical. Here’s a thought to ponder: the only real stability you have as a tech company is when you’re tied into the corporate space which moves, by design, very slowly and hates change actually. Witness Microsoft and RIM. RIM should have been dead by now or subsumed into another company. Apple’s base is supported by consumers, certainly not businesses. Consumers are fickle objects. When the next “it” phone comes out, unless Apple has something to counter, it will be a sitting duck. I see no innovation from Cupertino, only milking at a high price point.

    So before you say that Apple will be around for centuries, think about the fundamentals. Remember, this is how the Republicans had no idea they were losing – they ignored fundamentals of reality and went with feelings and cherry-picking data. That recipe for investment will yield the same results; money down the toilet.

  4. Chad says:

    I have to agree with econimonium. Apple has lost a step. Luckily, they were so far ahead of everyone else only Samsung has managed to catch them in phones and everyone is still a step or two behind in tablets. Apple still has a year or two to ride their lead, but they will lose it if they don’t come up with better innovations than a “slightly longer” screen. I have an iPhone 4 and there is no way I’m upgrading to an iPhone 5, it’s just not enough of an upgrade to warrant the cost.

  5. nicoacademia says:

    seems like i’m spending too much on apple. honestly just waiting for when the next 4GB ram samsung phone to come out.

    innovation has “stagflated” in Apple.
    having jumped from nokia’s N series to the iphone 3Gs. that next jump is coming soon once the conditions are right and i sense that that day is close. i’m using the 4s and no point for iphone 5 for me. worse still is the camera on the iphone5 vs 4s too.(i mean does that even make sense?)
    Apple could copy more of the android customisability and simple to on/off wifi/mobiledata from the dropdown. these are the main trump points of the android platform that apple doesn’t seem to see(hubris).

    the worst case scenario is that no one in the market place can create a cutting edge product(kinda pre first iphone world order) so it will then be Cetus parabus. weak participants like RIMM can survive ala Palm.

    but i doubt so. Samsung seems hungry enough in the way it moves.

  6. callotal says:

    nitpick alert: Samsung’s profits shouldn’t be lumped in with the losers in the above graphic.

    to be reasonable it should be Apple v Samsung + Google .

  7. arturoluna2000 says:


    I am impressed with your AAPL call. You appear to be right on the money! . . . . . NOT


    BR: Let me know the next time you avoid 125 points to the downside.

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