Photo by Jaime Gonzalez
The Cupertino-based company Apple is now valued at $418 billion, due to upward movement on Wall Street, making it the world’s most valuable company in terms of market value.
To put that amount of money in perspective, here are a few things that could be done with Apple’s 400,000,000,000 dollars–as suggested by Sebastian Anthony at ExtremeTech.com.
“[Apple could] feed everyone in the United States for a year, pay every American college student’s tuition for three years, buy a fleet of aircraft carriers and create an independent sovereign state or pay off all of Third World Africa debt!” he said.
A recent report by CNNMoney claimed that one single Apple store is just about as valuable as the White House.
“Apple sells an annual average of $4,709 worth of merchandise per square foot in its hundreds of stores across the world. Meanwhile, the presidential mansion in Washington is valued at $4,752 per square foot.”
So what is it that makes Apple so successful? Where does all of this money come from? Most importantly, what are they going to do with it?
On Jan. 24, 2012, Apple posted the record-breaking sales of their fourth quarter. The iPhone was the highest selling product at 37.04 million units, followed by the iPad, of which 15.43 million units were sold, and Mac sales broke the 5 million unit mark for the first time ever. Despite the fluctuating economy, Apple seems to continue to grow as it dominates various sectors of technology.
Ben Bajarin, Director of Consumer Technology Analysis and Research at Creative Strategies, Inc. attributes Apple’s success to the vertical integration of the company.
“It controls all the major critical parts of the chain used to make and sell products. Apple builds great hardware, owns the core software experience, optimizes its software for that hardware, equips it with web services (iTunes and iCloud), and finally controls the selling experience through its own retail stores.” siad Barjarin.
Apple has transcended simply being a computer company.
Simon Sinek discusses this idea of Apple as a company that “just happens to make great computers” in his TedTalk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” He credits Apple’s success to the company’s ability to connect with its consumers by not simply communicating what they do but why they do it.
“Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo,” he said.
They embody this message in the simplicity and reliability of their products, bridging the gap between the everyday consumer and computer professionals. Apple has also mastered its attention to detail, with its minimalist packaging design and sleek retail stores, the company considers its customers every step of the way from manufacturing to purchasing its products and even opening the box it comes in.
As for Apple’s plans for its hefty revenue–well over $100 billion cash on hand–CEO Tim Cook simply stated that they are “examining all uses” for the money and CFO Peter Oppenheimer said Apple is “not letting it burn a hole in our pockets,” during the earnings release. The company does not have a set philanthropic program either, the only notable charity project they have had is their line of (RED) products, which apportions a percentage of its profits to organizations fighting AIDS in Africa. This has amounted to tens of millions of dollars–a generous, but shy sum in comparison to the billions Apple is capable of. Only time will tell if these billions will get to meet their investment potential, or be squandered in the process of dealing with negative press regarding Foxconn.