Leading up to WWDC, Apple now worth more than Microsoft + Intel

Leading up to WWDC, Apple now worth more than Microsoft + Intel

Summary: As Apple prepares to announce its latest product innovations at WWDC 2011, the company closed the week with a market cap than now exceeds Microsoft and Intel combined.

TOPICS: Intel, Apple, Microsoft

When historians look back at this past decade in the technology revolution, I wonder if the story of Apple's comeback will look and feel and surreal as it does to those of us who have lived through it? Probably not.

As Apple prepares to announce its next series of innovations at its World Wide Developers Conference on Monday (TechRepublic will provide live commentary), the company closed the week on the NASDAQ with a stock price of $343.38, which means the public values the company at $317.6 billion (what Wall Street calls "market capitalization" or "market cap").

Meanwhile, Microsoft finished the week with a market cap of $201.59 billion and Intel closed at $115.21 billion. You know where I'm going with this. The combined market value of Microsoft and Intel = $316.8 billion. Apple is now worth more than Wintel.

Obviously, that's significant since, during the 1990s, the Microsoft Windows + Intel combo nearly drove Apple out of business. MacDailyNews, which first pointed out this development on Friday when the market closed, dug up this quote from June 1998 from Bill Gates: "What I can't figure out is why he [Steve Jobs] is even trying [to be the CEO of Apple]. He knows he can't win."

While Apple is riding high from a string of product hits, Microsoft continues to struggle to redefine itself in technology world that is expanding far beyond the traditional PC.

Of course, Intel is now a close partner of Apple's in the Macintosh division. But, don't be surprised if Apple's market cap victory over Wintel shows up in Jobs' slide show at WWDC on Monday. Jobs loves to gloat and to poke fun his rivals -- none more than Microsoft.

This was originally published on TechRepublic.

Topics: Intel, Apple, Microsoft

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  • They sure do have money

    And to think, heh heh, it's all caused by a walled garden of Apple fanbois who keep buying the same stuff over and over again.

    What's more amazing is that Microsoft pays PR agencies to write junk like that and have it astroturfed worldwide.
    Robert Hahn
    • Agreed Apple 3 percent market share

      @Robert Hahn Its been that way for the past 20 years, which means, its not growing (its stagnant). Its the same Apple fan boi's that are buying Apple stuff over and over again. One thing you have to credit for is the loyalty of their customers. Then again the same goes for Microsoft, or it wouldn't have a installed base of 1.2 billion Windows users and 750 million Office users.
      Mr. Dee
      • Sad

        Seeing as the majority of Apple's business for quite some time has been new customers, not "the faithful." That's been a major reason for their rise. But hey, don't let reality get in the way of your very own and apparently very strong RDF.
      • The notion of fanboys buying Apple's stuff again and again is **nonsense**

        @Mr. Dee: Apple's fan "audience", as it showed in the sales in after-dot bubble crisis 2001 year, is only about <b>500 thousand of people per quarter.<br><br>And now Apple has about 35 million buyers per quarter, almost none of which ever had anything from Apple</b>: 35 million - 0.5 million = 34.5 million, that is, comparing to 2001 year.
      • RE: Leading up to WWDC, Apple now worth more than Microsoft Intel

        @Mr. Dee
        So you feel the need to champion Microsoft, even though they could not care one bit about anything other than your money? It is fanboys like you that make others laugh at Microsoft. You?ve bought into the BS, and are willing to spread untruths at Microsoft?s request. I only hope they are paying you to make a fool of yourself.
      • RE: Leading up to WWDC, Apple now worth more than Microsoft Intel

        @Mr. Dee

        Can't tell if you're being sarcastic or just misinformed. Apple changed its name from Apple Computer years ago to just Apple, and for good reason. It's no longer defined as a small computer company with a small market share. And with Mac "fanboi's" that's keeping the company afloat. Apple have transformed into a massive consumer electronics company with 50 percent of their new customers being new to the platform. Not Mac fanboi's.
      • RE: Leading up to WWDC, Apple now worth more than Microsoft Intel

        @Mr. Dee <br><br>With MS it wasn't innovation or good technology it was plain mass marketing to the corporate suits and they bought it. BTW I am using my DP-800 (dual G4 cpus @ 800mhz, 133mhz bus) with 10.5.8 and it was built in 2001 (ten years ago); it runs great except for editing any HD video is slow as molasses. Of course it wasn't designed for the HD video market. I'll probably upgrade when Apple quits supporting the PPC line of processors.

        How many PCs from ten years ago are still cruising along doing pretty much everything their owners want?
    • RE: Leading up to WWDC, Apple now worth more than Microsoft Intel

      @Robert Hahn

      Maybe there is a good reason why people buy apple stuff such as they actually like it and it works better
      Alan Smithie
  • RE: Leading up to WWDC, Apple now worth more than Microsoft Intel

    No, I don't think Jobs will mention market cap in the keynote. Though the public is looking in, the primary audience for WWDC is developers, and so while there will be discussions about platform growth and numbers of iOS users, market cap is just not relevant, as a case for building apps for the Apple stable of products.

    Besides, it may be short-lived. Isn't the pattern that a keynote happens and the stock price declines because, inexplicably, there's disappointment that Apple did not unveil the unicorns somebody was saying they expected?

    Where is the unicorn this year? iCloud would be my guess. On Monday afternoon we will know what it is and isn't, yet. Somebody will say that zero-upload cloud streaming of all tracks the user has, regardless of source, was what they were counting on, nay, what Apple must do to avoid doom in this cloudy world. (When streaming and backup of my purchased tracks would be okay by me.) That's my two cents.
    • RE: Leading up to WWDC, Apple now worth more than Microsoft Intel


      What???!!!! No Apple unicorns? But the rumors said there would be magical unicorns!! Oh nuts.
      • Evil Apple killed its own unicorns! Boo to Jobs the tyrant!

    • RE: Leading up to WWDC, Apple now worth more than Microsoft Intel


      I suspect that all the negative pot shots at iOS devices over the years - that they are not true stand alone computers - is about to end.
    • RE: Leading up to WWDC, Apple now worth more than Microsoft Intel



      iOS 5

  • It's pretty impressive

    But let's not forget that we're seeing a lot of companies overvalued right now, and I think Apple is one of those companies. Facebook, Twitter, the list goes on. It's looking more and more like the internet boom from 10 years ago. Microsoft is fairly stable, as is Intel, even if they aren't growing like crazy.

    I'm not predicting an Apple collapse by any stretch. It just seems like it's value is inflated. I have a feeling the next 3-4 years will see that value bounce back. But Apple is big enough now it can weather a retraction. I could be completely wrong though and Apple could continue its current growth for who knows how long.
    • RE: Leading up to WWDC, Apple now worth more than Microsoft Intel

      @LiquidLearner You have no idea what you ate talking about. Apple's P&E is 16. It has what, 60+ billion in cash? Apple is seriously undervalued, not over valued.
      • Apple is priced right .... almost everybody else is overpriced

        @His_Shadow Take a look at the value of REAL companies and you will see that Apple, IBM, Intel and even MS are priced with a realistic value. It is the other companies that are overpriced for what they provide.
      • They certainly aren't undervalued


        You can't honestly expect me to believe that Apple, a consumer electronics company at this point, is more valuable than Microsoft + Intel. Sure Apple appeals to the consumer, but the other two appeal to large enterprise who will continue to use their products for years and years to come. Consumers are a fickle bunch, they will change at the drop of a hat. Apple has to continue to top itself going forward if it wants to maintain that momentum.

        As I said, they're not going to collapse by any stretch of the imagination. But when they have a market cap greater than Intel + MS combined something is wrong. That shows that everyone "thinks" it's worth more, when the reality is that they have a few consumer devices that are very appealing but very vulnerable. Consumer space can change very, very rapidly. I'm sure Sony thought they were invincible in the consumer electronics space at one point.
      • RE: Leading up to WWDC, Apple now worth more than Microsoft Intel

        @LiquidLearner - Gee, Liquid. You must be getting old. I am so surprised you did not write "Consumer space can change very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very rapidly." :-)
        The Danger is Microsoft
      • RE: Leading up to WWDC, Apple now worth more than Microsoft Intel

        Microsoft's P&E is around 10... It's lower than Apple. (Lower is better).
      • Market P/E depends on growth

        @ xnederlandx

        Microsoft's P/E is lower than Apple's because the markets expect Apple's profit to grow at a faster rate. Microsoft's primary market, the PC market, is a mature one (in developed countries, and in developing countries like China most people pirate Windows/Office), so expected market growth is low. That means expected profit growth is also low.

        Low market/profit growth expectations explain why Microsoft's P/E is low, but also mean that if Microsoft succeed in any high-growth markets (e.g. smartphones and perhaps even tablets), the share price could rocket upwards -- provided of course that their traditional cash cows remain healthy too. The same applies to Intel (who have remained successful in the mature PC market, but are floundering in the high-growth mobile market).

        Right now, Apple look set to continue doing well in high-growth markets, so a relatively high P/E is warranted (but note that Apple's P/E is still below the S&P 500 average, possibly because of risks like Android, which could seriously damage Apple's profit over time). Microsoft's and Intel's low P/E ratios are also warranted, and will remain so as long as they're confined to the low-growth PC market. That's why they're so eager to break into high-growth markets like mobile phones. PCs aren't going away, but high growth requires success elsewhere.