RSS
Is Apple destined for a Microsoft-esque slide?
The iPhone maker is on fire, burning past Microsoft's 1999 record for the world's most valuable company. But the mighty do have a tendency to fall...
Apple's soaring share price is shown on a stock ticker on Aug. 21: With a market valuation of $623 billion, Apple eclipsed Microsoft's 13-year-old record to become the world's most valuable company.
Apple's soaring share price is shown on a stock ticker on Aug. 21: With a market valuation of $623 billion, Apple eclipsed Microsoft's 13-year-old record to become the world's most valuable company.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
A

pple is on a iRoll. Its iPhones, iPads, and Macs are everywhere. Its stock is surging, and some analysts say the company's shares, now trading in the mid-$600s, could top $1,000 next year. Just this week, Apple blasted past a market-value record set by Microsoft in 1999, becoming the most valuable company in history, worth $623 billion. Of course, Microsoft, once seemingly invulnerable thanks to its ubiquitous Windows software, eventually fell from its perch; today it's worth just $258 billion. Is Apple destined to fall back to Earth just as thuddingly?

Yes. It's awfully hard to stay on top: The number one rule in tech is "always expect a new number one," says Bianca Bosker at The Huffington Post. To maintain its feverish level of success, Apple would have to consistently out-innovate titans like Google and come up with the next big thing — a virtual wallet, maybe, or new devices that go beyond phones and "sync with the car, home, or even the wearer's body." Almost inevitably, Apple's over-inflated growth expectations will pop. Expect a big fall.
"Will Apple's empire decline like Microsoft's?"

No. Apple will be just fine: It's a bit early to be talking about Apple's doom, says Preston Gralla at Computerworld. With the iPhone 5 expected to be a huge seller, Apple's smartphone "juggernaut shows no signs of slowing," and "as for tablets, there's no end in sight to the iPad's dominance." Thanks to its incredibly popular gadgets, Apple is sitting pretty for the next five years or so. And really, "five years is about as far as anyone can see in technology."
"Apple en route to becoming the most valuable public company ever — will Microsoft ever catch up?"

Unlike Microsoft at its peak, Apple still has ample room to grow: Consider this critical difference between Microsoft and Apple, says Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets: In its heyday, Microsoft had a 90 percent market share in PC operating systems. It had hit a ceiling. Today, Apple has just under 5 percent of the PC market and 6 percent of the mobile phone pie. Apple has tons of room for growth, and with looming "blockbuster product launches on the horizon" —  iPhone 5, iPad mini, Apple TV — Apple should blow past $1 trillion in value next year, with near-endless potential ahead.
"Topeka: Apple will reach trillion dollar market cap"

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week