Here are some surprising statistics that compare the current market valuation of Apple with aspects of the US and the world economy (source: Huff Post).
- Apple is worth more than the "entire USA retail sector".
- Apple is worth more than the combined GDPs of Iraq, North Korea, Vietnam, Puerto Rico, and New Zealand.
- The world's entire illegal drug trade valued at $314.7 billion is worth $200 billion less than Apple.
- The combined worth of Google and Microsoft ($202 billion and $275.3 billion, respectively) is less than that of Apple.
- Apple's revenue in the most recent quarter of $46.3 billion is worth more than that of Microsoft, Google (x2) and Yahoo (x3).
- Apple is worth the equivalent of 321 Endeavour space shuttles (at $1.7 billion each).
- The entire Apollo Space Program at a cost of $170 billion cost less than half Apple's value.
- 526 NFL football teams = Apple's market capitalisation. There are currently 32 teams.
- Apple is worth $141.41 billion more than Exxon.
- 8 Bill Gates = 1 Apple.
- 31 Mark Zuckerberg's (Facebook founder) = 1 Apple.
I'd love to be an Apple employee as there are probably generous employee stock options that are making many employees multimillionaires! It reminds me of the multimillionaire Google employees only Apple is putting Google in the shade.
Apple have said that they will pay dividends to share holders and of course reinvest in innovation. They must continue to innovate as the whole cash mountain and market capitalisation is built on that.
They are also buying back shares. I think the intention is to prevent diluting the value of shares due to issuing shares to employees under stock option agreements. I am not sure of the details.
One aspect has been overlooked. The invisible worker in China making the components. All the talk is about the American employee. What about the employees of Apple's partners in this gigantically successful process? And also what about the people who live near the factories that make the products. If the stories are correct these people should be paid compensation and medical treatment and the manufacturing process cleaned up. This should be done voluntarily by Apple without admission of liability. Apple have a clean public image. They need to spend some of their wealth on maintaining that precious image and doing the morally right thing.