Monday, October 10, 2011

One more tribute to Steve Jobs

Today, Apple's market cap exceeded Microsoft's by $135 billion. Since Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, Apple's market cap has grown by as much as Microsoft's market cap has declined from its early 2000 high. The numbers speak for themselves. This has got to be the greatest David vs. Goliath story in corporate history.

12 comments: said...

I just ordered the 4G S to replace one of our two 3G S's, and it joins our MacBook Pro and iPad 2.

Apple creates a great user experience.

Jeff said...

I was just on my son's MacBook Pro. Window sizing and placement is hard. You can't manipulate files or file names easily. Pictures are stored in a database and cannot be manipulated. Switching between applications leaves the previous application's menu bar on the screen!! (I'm in Outlook but the Safari menu bar is on top of my

AND, there is no sync between iTunes and MS Outlook 11. What a joke.

My prediction. The AAPL chart will look like the MSFT chart 10 years from now. Think Nokia. Think Motorola. Think LG. Think RIMM.

All those new illegal immigrants coming into this country will not be using Apple devices 10 years from now. Huge companies always lose their competitive edge. Open systems will always beat closed systems in the long run. Android is now outselling Apple.

Apple is a close, proprietary system. When the rest of the world catches up, think BETA MAX! Think Kodak! Think MySpace!

Think Wal Mart! Their market cap has remained unchanged for 10 years!

Scott Grannis said...

Jeff: you have no idea what you're talking about

Benjamin Cole said...

It is interesting that WalMart and Microsoft have flatlined for the last 11 years. No one would have predicted that 11 years ago.

Apple? I fear for the future without Steve Jobs. The guy had the touch. Make products people can use and like---not software you want to make.

A visionary talented leader can assemble a succession team, try to leave behind an institutionalized culture of innovation. Maybe Apple will move ahead without Jobs.

I just get the feeling the next Steve Jobs will not want to work at a large company that will bury him.

Bright, eager, impatient, the next Steve Jobs will likely land at a small start-up where he is a major player, and then soon on to head his own shop.

That does not augur well for Apple.

Kevin Graham said...

Hi Scott,

This isn't a true apples to apples comparison of MSFT and AAPL.

How much cash has MSFT returned to shareholders during the past decade?

I just ran some quick numbers and dividends since 2003 around $65 billion. Share buybacks since 2003 is around another $65 billion. That's a $130 billion.

AAPL hasn't returned a dime via dividends or share buybacks.

Both great companies and both have a huge stockpile of cash. During the past decade MSFT has generated a much larger amount though.


Scott Grannis said...

Microsoft's history of dividends and share buybacks has no impact on its ability to generate profits going forward. The market value of a company today is a function of its future expected after-tax profits, and has nothing to do with past profits or payouts.

There is no guarantee that investors today will receive or otherwise benefit from Apple's $75 billion or so of cash. But even if you subtract Apple's cash from its current market cap, it is still worth more than Microsoft.

Jeff said...

15 years ago, everyone I knew owned a Motorola phone. 10 years ago everyone owned a Nokia. 5 years ago everyone owned a Blackberry.

Today, everyone I know ownes an iPhone. I say Apple is peaking or has peaked.

PS And I never thought you the type to resort to ad hominem attacks. You expressed your opinion about APPL. I expressed mine.

Scott Grannis said...

Sorry if I sounded nasty, but my point was that from your remarks about how Macs work (or don't) it is clear to me that you haven't spent much time with them. For example, when you switch from one app to another the menu bar always switches. Apple's file system (the Finder) has always been much easier to use than Windows', and changing names couldn't be easier. If you want to manipulate your photos with something other than iPhoto, that's easy. iPhoto's main job is to organize your photos. Apple may be a "closed" system, but Apple's OS is arguably the best one out there. Plus, you can run any Windows app on a Mac.

Jeff said...

And I'm sorry for the immigration crack. But I do know what I'm talking about. I am an x-IT consultant who used to design software!

And I'm staring at my daughter’s computer right now with Safari open and the Word 11 menu bar on top.

Finder is fine. But try deleting a file with the "Delete" key in can't. Also, try manipulating a file (change name, delete) in say a File/Save dialogue can't (you can in Windows).

And you have to admit, window manipulation in Mac OS is just plain poor. In Windows you can grab any edge or corner to move/resize. All you have from Apple is a tiny little triangle in the lower right corner. And the “maximize” button doesn’t always maximize!

And when will Apple put a second button on their mouse/pad for goodness sake!

Not to mention the software that can’t run on Mac. (Boot Camp is limited.) And what’s up with iTunes and Office 11 not talking on a Mac? Plus, there is still no Quicken for Mac!! (only Quicken Essentials) Most the games I play with my kids are Windows based. Try running Flight Sim X on a Mac! Not easy.

In addition, their mobile OS STILL does not play flash! This is simply a corporate temper tantrum by Apple! No removable memory. No USB on the iPad. They simply try to lock you up and keep you in every way possible. It’s a closed/proprietary system. How do you easily get anything off your iPad??? Email it to yourself?

Look, Apple is fine. I have an iPad. Everyone I know owns an iPhone (I’m probably going to get the 4s). If you want to own/use fine. But my initial point was this: Apple has peaked. Literally everyone had a Blackberry 5 years ago. Today, hardly anyone.

Now, Apple won’t collapse like that…I just think 10 years from now their chart will look like MSFT over the last 10 years. Total computer market share will peak around 13-15% (whatever it is). And someone else will invent the next coolest mobile device some day...probably soon.

Scott Grannis said...

jeff: a few quick answers:

The application whose window is in front always displays its corresponding menu. That doesn't prevent you from reading applications that are behind it, such as Safari. In fact, the name of the front app is always in the upper left hand corner of the screen.

Deleting a file with the Delete key is not sensible in my view, or in Apple's. It's too easy to make a mistake. Instead, right click on the file and choose Move to Trash.

Apple mice for years have had the ability to left and right click. Right click by pressing the right side of the mouse. Enable this feature in System Preferences

In the latest version of mac OS (Lion), you can resize windows by grabbing any edge or corner.

Macs can run all Windows apps using either Parallels or VMware Fusion. Mac apps and Windows apps run side by side.

Quicken is a laggard, I'll admit, and Microsoft has not update the Office apps like they should.

Flash is buggy software. No mobile device can run it efficiently. It drains the battery big-time and it crashes a lot. Everyone recognizes this now, and the majority of Flash-based content on the web is now available in HTML5 format which runs just fine on all mobile apps. Apple was eminently justified in objecting to Flash.

(I have banned Flash from my Mac because it is a memory hog and causes crashes)

Apple, in contrast to MSFT, has always made it very easy to export stuff (calendar, contacts, mail, photos), so I'm not sure what you are referring to.

Apple has a long way to go before it maxes out its share of the PC market. The iPhone only has 5% of the global phone market, and that should increase by leaps and bounds. Apple will peak someday, but not soon, in my estimation.

Jeff said...

Ok, ok. Uncle. I give.

Spoken like a true Mac fan…always zealous for their Apple. I will keep my delete key…you keep your drag your trash. Friends again?

Just keep teaching me great economic truths!!

Tintu said...

He is on of the great Icon in the world. His world will inspire and inspired to many not only to techies. He will be remembered ever. My deepest condolences to his family.