iPhone and iPad

The Big Cash Of Apple [INFOGRAPHIC]

Mark O'Neill 13-05-2012

The Big Cash Of Apple [INFOGRAPHIC] timcook money The fact that Apple is rolling in mountains of cash is hardly a newsflash. Just weeks away from bankruptcy 15 years ago, it is now the most valuable company in the world with revenues that could sustain small nations or help to wipe out the US national debt. But you may be shocked to learn the extent to which Apple is rolling in the Benjamins. Even I did a double-take when this infographic claimed that Apple’s profits in the last 6 months were close to $30 billion. I had to double-check the figure with Apple’s Press Office on their website and indeed the figure is correct. That is just stunning.


Figures like that put them ahead of Google and Microsoft, and it’s all down to 2 devices – the iPhone and the iPad. These two babies sell like the proverbial hotcakes and they are literally banknote printing machines for Cupertino. However, can they keep up this relentless pace? Will iPhones and iPads continue to fly out of shop doors or will demand eventually dry up? That is our question to you today for the comments. Is the flow of money unstoppable for Apple or will the well eventually run dry?

Big Business of Apple

Related topics: Apple, Infographic.

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  1. Bob Lewis
    June 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Only shows that victimised digital fashionistas are being ripped off by Apple's prices.

  2. Stephen Wheeler
    May 16, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Apple nearly went bust because they were beaten fair and square in the market, and because it went through a period when it was managed by people with no understanding of technology and no understanding of the consumer.

    Apple made great strides under Steve Jobs - during his second term.

    Steve Jobs brought back the following:

    - Apple's great strength, ease of use. My Wife knows next to nothing about ICT. She struggled for years to even use Windows XP. She learned how to use her iPad, on her own, no manual, in two days.

    - Being first to market. before the iPhone and iPad were the first non-beige computers in exciting shapes - and the iPod, and later iTunes.

    - Linking the hardware to services. To be fair even Steve Jobs didn't quite get this at first - and IBM were doing it for decades before him (though restricting themselves to business). Jobs was propositioned by US Music Publishers desperate to stem the tide of digital music sharing. With the benefit of hindsight iTunes looks like a visionary move beyond most of us - but Jobs was in the right place because he had dared to experiment and take the iPod to market.

    - Marketing. Who, over the age of 40, can forget the great campaign to launch the Mac? How many apple logos can you remember? When you think of Apple, what qualities do you assign to the company in your mind? None of these things were accidents - Apple was always (under Jobs) thinking clearly about its place and its image in the market.

    - Microsoft. Once dominant, Microsoft acted like its forebear, IBM, did in the 60s & 70s. This created room for Apple to grow. Microsoft recognised that it was too business-centric and missing out on the consumer market. Its XBox 360 has been a success of sorts - but still fails to engage anything more than a niche. The XBox is what big companies call 'innovation' - something you do when two other companies have proven that a market exists. Jobs was different; he knew that true innovation means looking out for what the technology can do - and matching that to unmet, even unknown, needs.

    - Small Company dynamics. Jobs was not always keen to outsource functions like production - he learned his trade making hardware remember. But firing Jobs, in the longer term, was how Apple & Jobs learned that the key parts of any company are what matters. It is important to focus on strengths and, no matter how tempting it may appear on paper, shun non-core activities. Owning stores makes more sense to Apple because it's key activity is shipping branded product. But that doesn't make it an appropriate play for Google, Microsoft, or Twitter. That said, are Microsoft breaking into the 'phone market ... ?

    The picture at the top of this story says Tim Cook's Lunch Money. No. That's a picture of Steve Jobs legacy.

    Tim Cook's first move was essentially a re-launch of the iPad 2. On paper, short term, it looks good. Longer term, we will see that while this move was probably viewed as low-impact on Apple (few resources expended, little time lost) it still helped Android and Windows 8 - Teams of people looking at more substantial progress - to catch Apple. Perhaps they have only caught up with Apple by a baby step - but they're still catching up.

    Is Tim Cook finding his feet - or is this a sign that Tim Cook plays it safe? If the latter, Apple are already returning to Earth.

    Steve Jobs started his career as a technology innovation chaser. He ended it as a market-oriented-innovator of products and services aimed at the weaknesses of humans and existing market dynamics.

    Apple's profits are a testament to how Steve Jobs learned to do it right.

    • Mark O'Neill
      May 19, 2012 at 7:52 am

      Thanks for the extensive comment :-) I certainly can't fault anything you say there.

      I do wonder what is going to happen to Apple now that Steve Jobs has passed away. Tim Cook doesn't seem to have the same drive, the same "vision" that Jobs had. Maybe we are judging Cook too unfairly and not giving him a chance.

      We'll see what happens in the next 1-2 years with the next iPhone and whatever else they decide to release (if anything).

      • Stephen Wheeler
        May 24, 2012 at 8:08 am

        I have to agree Mark - the jury will be out on Mr. Cook for up to 2 years.

        My best estimate, for what it's worth, is that Tim Cook was viewed by large shareholders - and institutional shareholders in particular - as a safe pair of hands. Shareholders of successful, established, companies tend to be people looking for steady returns over the medium to long term.

        That almost always translates to a unimaginative, low risk taking, numbers-focused, safe-friendly-brand, stick to your knitting, style of management.

        Tim Cook fits that common profile so far.

        Yes, we may be judging Cook a little unfairly - but he has already missed several chances to catch Job's legacy pass and score his own touchdown. When Jobs returned to the CEO role at Apple it took him 6 months to announce the iMac.

        Tim Cook has been CEO for 8 months ... and ... er ... No doubt Tim's fans will point out that the situation is very different - Jobs needed a turnaround product to save an ailing company - Cook needs to ensure he doesn't undermine one of the most successful brands of the 20th Century.

        My response to that is: With so much cash and, one assumes, a successful company's R&D to call on - Tim Cook's best shot so far is a minor upgrade of an already successful product. Go figure.

    • Bob Lewis
      June 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Excellent and sober commentary - you must be a marketing man!

      • Stephen Wheeler
        June 25, 2012 at 8:42 am

        Thank you for your positive feedback.

        I have worked in marketing, though I think of myself more as a Programme Manager.

  3. hasi
    May 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Apple sucks! I hate to apple! go Google!

    • inpic
      May 15, 2012 at 8:20 am

      when the iPhone came out, it is expected itsn't it?

      • Mark O'Neill
        May 19, 2012 at 7:56 am

        When the iPhone 5 comes out, they are going to make a crapload more money. They should do what Bill Gates does and consider giving some of that vast fortune away to charity.

    • Mark O'Neill
      May 19, 2012 at 7:54 am

      And why does Apple suck exactly? I assume you prefer Google Android phones but I have had two Androids and they were both sub-standard pieces of crap.

      On the other hand, my iPhone cost me a fortune but I couldn't be happier with it.

  4. Peter Cambrell
    May 13, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Good ole Apple. They've been around for a while and done the hard yards. About time they got the recognition that they deserve. they make the hardware and the software that drives it......who else does that, certainly not Microsoft or Compaq/HP.

    • Mike DeGeorge
      May 19, 2012 at 4:30 am

      They do not make the hardware. They buy it and put it together. Just like we do. Just in a different way(soldering to prevent upgrades and what not)

  5. JBB
    May 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    "These two babies sell like the proverbial hotcakes and they are literally banknote printing machines for Cupertino."

    Literally, eh? Hooked up to the US Mint? Or are they counterfeiting? Or perhaps you've trodden on my "Literally means literally, and I'm not speaking figuratively" pet peeve. You're a David Eddings fan, aren't you. :)

    • Mark O'Neill
      May 19, 2012 at 7:49 am

      It wouldn't surprise me if Apple was hooked up to the US Mint. Apple's newest creation - iMint.

  6. Dave Parrack
    May 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    It's easy to make so much money when you charge the earth for products. ;)

    • Mark O'Neill
      May 19, 2012 at 7:48 am

      But people are willing to pay the prices. With some much competition out there, Apple must be doing something right if people are lining up with the money in their hand (says someone who recently bought an iPhone to go with his iPad).

      • Dave Parrack
        May 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm

        I truly believe a lot of it comes down to branding and the assumption that Apple hardware is somehow better than the competition. That high price point has a strange effect whereby people think it denotes quality. Apple products are generally good but there are cheaper alternatives out there.

        • Mark O'Neill
          May 20, 2012 at 7:32 am

          Well during all the time I have been using my iPhone and iPad, it feels good. The user experience is good. Nothing has ever slowed down or failed. The devices just work.

          With my Android phones on the other hand, they would often slow down and apps would crash. I didn't enjoy using them at all.

          So if I have to pay more to get a phone that works and which gives me enjoyment to use, then so be it. :-)