Just How Dominant Is Apple?

The rise of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) over the past decade has been nothing short of phenomenal. The tech giant has transformed the way we live and how we do business with the advent of the iPhone, iPad, and various other technologies. If you had purchased Apple 10 years ago today and continued to hold, your shares would have appreciated by a cool 4,082%!

Apple's always-innovative attitude has crushed its competition. Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) has seen its smartphone sales go backwards as consumers have grown weary of its stale designs.  Whether or not Apple products drive margin growth is meaningless -- simply having them is a requirement if you want customers to set foot in the door. Both Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) and Sprint Nextel have suffered declining margins in the period since they rolled out the iPhone as a handset choice on their networks. Why would these carriers cannibalize their margins like this? Because Apple is that important to driving customers into their stores.

Apple is closing in on its next major accomplishment -- a valuation of half a trillion dollars. As Apple's value and cash pile grow larger by the day I'm forced to ask the question: Does Apple own us? If the following charts are any indication, I'd say there's always the possibility it might:


Sources: Top left: World Bank; Bottom left: Apple Investor Relations; Bottom right: Nielsen; Top right: RetailSails.

Apple is just dominant from start to finish. It doubles up its closest competitor, Tiffany, with regards to sales per square foot while averaging about seven times that of Best Buy. Its iPhone 4S release increased handheld unit sales by 128% over the year-ago period and in just two months closed the gap to Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android platform market share from 39.5% to just 2.4%.

This doesn't even mention that fact that Apple boasts $97.6 billion in cash, more than 135 countries' yearly GDP! To put it another way, Apple has enough cash in its coffers to buy (according to the Motley Fool CAPS Screener) 154 of the 211 publicly traded computer software and services companies. That is pure domination!

Is there an Apple stat that makes your jaw drop? Share it in the comments section below.

Don't let your search for dominant companies end here. Our top-notch team recently released a new report, "3 American Companies Set to Dominate the World," that you can get for free for a limited time. Don't miss this great opportunity!

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. He will be getting an iPhone 4S in August when his contract allows him to. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Best Buy, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google and Apple, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Apple and writing covered calls in Best Buy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy that is priceless and therefore out of Apple's reach.


Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2012, at 10:54 PM, MaclarenF wrote:

    In 2011 calendar Q4, Apple's net profit was more than Google's revenue. Wow!

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2012, at 11:21 PM, beetlebug62 wrote:

    Yeah, the stat I'd like to share is that Apple was picked as Worst Stock to Own in 2010 by a Motley Fool, Zahrim, I believe. That was a jaw-dropping stat.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2012, at 12:38 AM, funspirit wrote:

    The question is will Apple's products continue to be grand slams as they are now.

    It will be interesting when Google comes out with majel, which is their answer to Siri. I am waiting to purchase a new phone until then--

    Actually, I think tech is the waaayyy to go sector.

    for a look at how tech has supplanted gold as a store of value, try here--

    http://www.richmakesyourich.com/2011/10/why-your-gold-is-wor... Why Your Gold is Worth(less)- Google It

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2012, at 7:44 AM, infektu wrote:

    @InfoThatHelp aka JamesApple boy

    You seem to be talking to yourself.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2012, at 8:51 AM, barbarian312 wrote:

    Here's an Apple stat that might make your jaw drop: The number of Apple's products owned or used by myself, my wife, my six children, and several boyfriends, girlfriends and In-Laws = 0%. So, to answer your question "does Apple own us"? Obviously not all of us, at least not yet.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2012, at 9:55 AM, RipRagge wrote:

    I bought 13 years ago, when everybody said it was garbage. I've been on teh lookout for more garbage ever since.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2012, at 3:11 PM, funspirit wrote:

    The idea that Siri has invalidated Androids is ridiculous as InfoThatHelp claims. Majel has been in progress for a long long time, and by all accounts, (and it remains to be seen) it is superior to Siri, even though it doesn't have her "personality"

Add your comment.

DocumentId: 1781059, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 7/29/2014 10:06:27 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement