Some of you don’t know it yet, but Apple Inc. (AAPL) is already the largest tech company in the United States. Actually, it has been the largest tech company since May 2010, when it surpassed Microsoft Corporation’s market capitalization for the first time.
Market capitalization refers to the size or value of a publicly listed company and is computed by multiplying the number of shares in the company by its current stock price.
In the past, Bill Gates’ Microsoft Corp. has long dominated the tech industry. But in recent years, the company struggled to match the tremendous growth rates it experienced in the last decade. Although Microsoft remained profitable — thanks to its software and operating systems — it failed to diversify successfully in other product lines.
Apple Inc., on the other hand, benefited from a string of recent successes starting from its iPod line of music players. It successfully ventured into the lucrative but highly-competitive mobile phone market with the launch of the iPhone. And more recently, Apple is again gaining buzz because of its sleek tablet PC, the iPad.
All these successes contributed to Apple beating Microsoft as the largest tech company in the US. Next to Apple and Microsoft, IBM, Google and Oracle round up the Top 5. The complete Top 10 are as follows.
Top 10 Largest Market Capitalization (US Tech Companies)
as of February 16, 2011 (in billion of dollars)
Below is a visual representation of the comparative market capitalization of each US-based tech company.