October 27, 2008, 5:39 PM — A certain amount of buzz is arising from posts on Apple Insider and Adrian Kingsley-Hughes' ZDNet blog opining that Apple is beginning to approach Microsoft in terms of sales, profits, and cash on hand. Kingsley-Hughes has the math and numbers parsed out in easy to read form and poses the provocative question of when Apple will be "bigger" than Microsoft.
Now, a company's size is not particularly easy to determine; in my experience, for publicly traded corporations, the figure used is generally market cap, and Apple's is still less than half of Microsoft's. But the idea that Apple's revenue, profits, and cash on hand might even be of the same order of magnitude as Microsoft's would have been shocking five years ago. Microsoft advocates will of course point out that Apple is still a niche player in the computing industry -- but then, what does it say when Microsoft can't translate its hold on 90 percent of computer desktops into numbers that reflect that widespread dominance?
In other Apple sales news, the analystocracy that thought it would be an awesome move for Apple to sell an $800 laptop now reveal that the key for Apple's total control of the smartphone market would be to release a $99 iPhone. Because of course if you can somehow magically sell an expensive, sought after product at a fraction of its current price without compromising on quality in any way, you're sure to succeed! This is the genius stuff the analysts come up with; the implementation details are left to the engineers.