The sleek, touchscreen iPhone has proved so lucrative for Apple that the electronic gadgets manufacturer has unseated Google to become the most valuable company in America's cradle of technological innovation, Silicon Valley.
Queues outside Apple's stores are commonplace since the phone's launch a year ago as shoppers line up to get their hands on the prized device.
On Wall Street, the phenomenal popularity of the phone has fuelled a 44% surge in Apple's share price in 12 months. By the close of trading on Wednesday, Apple's market value had edged up to $158.8bn - a shade ahead of Google's $157.2bn.
Apple's predominance amounts to a shift in the balance of power in the hi-tech world. The company has repeatedly been able to eclipse rivals with its distinctive, easy-to-use designs. The iMac and the iPod continue to be firm favourites among laptop computer buyers and music fans.
Meanwhile, Google's once dazzling star has waned slightly as America's economic slowdown has eaten into online advertising and investors have wondered how the company can produce solid profits from expensive ventures such as the video-sharing website YouTube.
Scott Kessler, an equities analyst specialising in technology at Standard & Poor's in New York, said the twin fortunes of Apple and Google were central to the technological landscape: "These are the two companies most currently identified with the notion of innovation - not just in Silicon Valley or in this country but arguably in the world."
Friday, August 15, 2008
From The Guardian (UK):