“What would I do? I’d shut [Apple] down and give the money back to the shareholders.” – Michael Dell, October, 1997

I know marketcap is a relatively meaningless stat, but Apple’s is truly an astounding figure. With today’s surge, the company is worth roughly $178 billion. That’s more than Google ($175 billion) and General Electric ($165 billion), the parent company of this fine network.

In fact, only Microsoft is worth more in the tech space.

More interesting, Apple’s market cap is now greater than Dell’s and Hewlett-Packard’s combined ($145 billion), even though those two companies comprise 40% of the market share for personal computers, compared to Apple’s paltry 4%.

Apple commands 15% of the market for smart phones, and 4% for all cell phones, but its total value is still twice that of Research in Motion’s and Nokia’s combined ($88 billion).

So basically, in the most simple terms, Apple is worth just slightly less than one RIMM ($38 billion), one Dell ($30 billion) and a Hewlett-Packard ($115 billion).

And yet to some, the company still looks downright cheap.

“If you look at earnings and valuation, you’re talking $280,” said Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, who noted that Apple’s quarter was slightly constrained by the fact that it couldn’t build enough iPhones, a trend that could bode well for the holiday season.

“As good as the quarter was, it’s gonna get even better,” said Munster. 

This quote from Michael Dell comes up every time Apple has a jump in stock price. So much has change in just 12 years.

Some people look up to Michael Dell. Yes, he’s a great business man and built a huge company. But I don’t want to be him. I’d rather build great products like Apple.

And in case you missed the announcements, Apple has beautiful new iMacs and a new Macbook. Getting less press, but equally gorgeous are the new Apple Remote and Apple Magic Mouse.

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11 comments

  1. totally disagree. Steve Jobs was already back at that point and streamlining Apple’s product line. There were major changes happening in the right direction. If Steve hadn’t come back, then I don’t know.

  2. I’m not sure. Steve Jobs hadn’t proven his genius at that point. His failing company NeXT was bought my Apple and he was resisting taking the CEO role. I think if I was in Michael Dell’s shoes, I would have been dubious about Apple’s prospects as well. In 1997, Apple still had 10 different model Performas, the Newton, and Rhapsody, and it was bleeding money.(But none of this changes the fact that Michael Dell has created a factory for producing shit and I have absolutely no respect for the man.)

  3. <html><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">Dustin, yeah true. I don’t know enough about Apple’s finances back then to say what the correct financial decision would have been. I think Dell’s statement was from the Jobs/Dell dispute going on, and not necessarily because he had come to a decision because of research and models.<div><br></div><div>I’m just thrilled to see Apple winning this game by creating the best products possible. I’m never going to build, or support something crappy, and I hope the company with the best product/service comes out on top. Unfortunately that isn’t always the case.</div><div><br></div><div>Do you think Dell ever reads the Dell Twitter stream or otherwise reads what his users are saying? I’m guessing it’s mostly negative. I don’t know how you could keep a company going that produces such shit. I would shut it down and give the money back :)<br><div><div></div></div></div></body></html>

  4. Apple makes excellent products, but Dell is improving too. Michael Dell should’ve realized how over-the-top his comment was before saying it, and probably regrets saying it. The tables have turned. Competition’s better for all of us.

  5. To me, the biggest gift from Apple and Steve Jobs is they proved to the entire world that design not only adds value, but CREATES value. The implication of this is massive. Designers now have "a seat at the table" at many large businesses and are part of the decision-making process. Before that, design’s jurisdiction was limited to creating desire rather than being an integral part of a brand.Notice the next time you speak with a business leader or an MBA, and how likely he or she would want their company to "be like Apple."

  6. great post, I didnt know that Apple was already that big! But I can’t help, I love Apple’s products, in fact, this love the consumers have among their products is what explains how Apple can sell its products by the price its selling.

  7. Amazing Post 🙂 I have just started using Posterous. I should say this u guys rock most simplest blogging platform .. guess u guys are working on Upgradation tooo

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