Apple vs. Microsoft by the numbers
Wall Street thinks one company is a more compelling buy than the other
Computerworld - A little less than a year ago, Wall Street reached a Microsoft vs. Apple milestone: for the first time, Apple's corporate value surpassed Microsoft's.
And Apple's market cap (the total value of all of its shares) topped Microsoft's even though the latter company had more revenue and double the profit margins. Clearly, Wall Street was looking at growth potential, not current income statements and balance sheets, in anointing Apple the more compelling buy.
What has happened since? With Apple due to report its latest quarterly earnings tomorrow -- Microsoft reports its numbers next week -- we look at some recent numbers, as well as data over time.
While total values for Microsoft and Apple were close last spring, that's no longer the case. Since May 26, 2010, when Apple first inched ahead of Microsoft, Apple's market capitalization has risen from $223 billion to more than $306 billion (as of April 14). Microsoft's, meanwhile, has slipped from $219 billion to $212 billion.
Bottom line: Wall Street currently thinks more highly of Apple's growth potential and overall prospects than it does of Microsoft's. Investors were right last year, but only time can tell whether that outlook is still justified, given the company's high stock price.
Beyond Wall Street, how do the companies stack up in the battle for tech users? Microsoft maintained an overwhelming lead in the desktop operating system business, keeping a roughly 92% share of the market from 2005 to 2009 (the last figures available from IDC). Mac OS X's share has varied between just 3.5% and 4.0%.
Apple took a significant lead in the smartphone race, capturing 15.7% of the worldwide market last year, compared with just 4.2% for Microsoft. However, both Gartner and IDC predict Microsoft's Windows Phone will beat out Apple's iOS for mobile market share by 2015, with Gartner expecting a 19.5% share for Microsoft and 17.2% for Apple.
In addition, Apple had a commanding 87.4% share of the worldwide tablet market last year, according to IDC. Gartner predicts Apple will keep a 69% share this year and will still have 47% by 2015. Windows doesn't show up in that forecast.
Bottom line: In one high-growth area, smartphones, several influential analysts believe Microsoft will eventually come out on top. In another, tablets, it's getting crushed. However, Microsoft has maintained its enormous lead on the desktop.
Investment value over time
If you invested $1,000 in each company's stock on Jan. 3, 2000, what would you have ended up with in April 2011? Accounting for stock splits and, in Microsoft's case, dividends, but excluding taxes and broker's fees, you would have $2,072 from Microsoft stock and $13,294 from Apple stock.
And if you had invested $1,000 in each company on May 26 last year, your Apple stock would have been worth $1,427 in mid-April, compared with $1,033 for your Microsoft stock.
Bottom line: Apple has been by far the superior investment over the past decade. Next: Revenue
- Manufacturing Outlook: Improving time to market, operational effectiveness and innovation in a highly competitive environment An enterprise project portfolio management solution can help manufacturers position themselves in the new competitive landscape.
- Time-to-Market: The Need for Speed in the Automotive Industry Bringing new vehicles to market quickly has never been more challenging. To bring new models to market on-time and on budget, automakers need...
- Patient Portals: A Platform for Connecting Communities of Care Connecting patient health data across the care continuum is essential to achieve improved care, increased access to personal health records and lowered costs.
- 3 Ways Clinicians Can Leverage a Patient Portal to Craft a Healthcare Community With a bevy of vendors offering patient portal solutions, it can be challenging for a hospital to know where to start. Fortunately, YourCareCommunity...
- Live Webcast Best Practices: How to Improve Business Continuity with Virtualization VMware solutions include a range of business continuity capabilities to help ensure availability for applications across your virtualized environment. Learn More>>
- Live Webcast
Transforming Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain Effectiveness with Cross-Functional Analytics
Date: May 6th, 2014
Time: 1 PM EDT
Attend this Webcast to find out how Oracle's packaged analytic applications enable line-of-business managers to examine all...
- Live Webcast LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- Make or Break: New Auto Products Must Go To Market On Time This Webcast quantifies the value of time to market for the auto industry and highlights how Primavera Enterprise Portfolio Management can help organizations.
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources... All Government/Industries White Papers | Webcasts