updated 01:10 pm EST, Mon January 29, 2007
Apple to surpass MS?
Apple may have shot at outgrowing Microsoft within the next five years if it continues its phenomenal growth. An analysis at 10Layers.com indicates that the Cupertino-based company may indeed generate more revenue than Microsoft as a result of its exponential growth patterns. Apple's revenue has dramatically jumped since 2002 -- from just under $6 billion to just under $21 billion in 2006. While Microsoft has posted significant growth during the same period, its growth has been linear -- more modest than Apple's -- the report says.
Apple during its excessive growth period introduced the iPod, which helped to balloon its revenue to more than $7 billion in its last fiscal quarter. While some analysts predict sales are likely slow in the coming months or years, the company does have other products in its pipeline such as Apple TV and the iPhone -- both of which could continue Apple's dramatic growth.
"Both Microsoft and Apple have seen healthy revenue growth in the last 5 years. Microsoft's revenues have grown approximately 60 percent from just under $30B in 2002 to over $44B in 2006," the report states. "However, while Microsoft has grown linearly for this period, Apple has accelerated with revenues of just under $6B in 2002 growing to just under $21B in 2006."
Apple's increase equates to an "impressive" 250 percent revenue growth during the period. "In other words, Apple has been growing much faster than Microsoft," the report concluded.
Figures from the last quarterly Apple conference call also show that the Mac market, currently near 5 percent in the U.S., is growing very rapidly and outpacing the PC industry. Mac sales, the company said, have outpaced market growth in eight of the last nine quarters and grew at about 3 times IDC's published growth rate for the PC market during the quarter.
10Layers based its extrapolation on revenue figures for the trailing 12 months, providing data on which to base trend lines that is insensitive to seasonal variations. The analysis found a linear growth curve for Microsoft and a second order polynomial growth curve for Apple. However, the analysis is somewhat rudimentary as Microsoft has only very recently released a new version of its two flagship products -- Office and Windows -- and has yet to see significant sales from either product.