Jason Snell:

In other words, in four years the wearables market might grow to be one-tenth the size of today’s smartphone market—in units shipped. Presumably the average selling price of wearable items will be a fraction of that of smartphones, meaning the dollar value of the wearables market is even more minuscule compared to the smartphone market.

All of which means that wearables, while dramatic and exciting and with huge potential to change people’s lives, are never going to rival smartphones in terms of market size. Same goes for smart TV boxes. These are interesting, fun areas of technological change. But the smartphone—that boring old Internet-connected 64-bit supercomputer in your pocket that just keeps improving year after year—is going to be the big dog in the tech world for years to come. Apple’s future success or failure will be dependent on the iPhone, and to a lesser extent the iPad, not on a smartwatch.

That’s exactly right. I’ve been saying this for a while: there is no industry, save maybe the oil business, that could yield the type of profits Apple is used to with the iPhone. And that points to a lot of disappointment in the eyes of Wall Street no matter what comes — unless Apple buys Exxon.

Brian Womack:

Google, which became the world’s largest online advertiser through its dominant search engine, had a higher market capitalization during intraday trading today before falling back at the close in New York to a value of $395.4 billion compared to Exxon’s $395.7 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Apple had a market value of $463.5 billion. Software company Microsoft Corp. is No. 4 with $303.5 billion.

Technology companies are establishing themselves as key players worldwide as they disrupt industries from retail to finance. Google, which went public in 2004 — 84 years after Exxon — has benefited from consumers moving to online services and content, a trend that’s being accelerated by the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets.

I suspect we’ll see quite a few more tech companies ahead of Exxon in the coming years. Progress.

Apple’s share price has passed Google’s at $632-a-share. Share prices are basically meaningless since the number of shares outstanding differ (Apple has nearly 3x the number of shares out there, and as such, nearly 3x the valuation). But the numbers are interesting in historical context. They show what a ride Apple has been on (while Google has remained relatively static). 

When Google went public in 2004 and their stock immediately popped over $100-a-share, Apple’s stock was trading around $15-a-share. When Google’s stock hit $500-a-share in November 2006, Apple’s stock was around $85-a-share. When Google shares peaked in late 2007 over $700-a-share and people were wondering if the stock was the next Berkshire Hathaway (up, up and away!), Apples stock was around $150-a-share. 

With the price and the number of shares outstanding, Apple’s valuation is now approaching $600 billion. The next closest company in terms of valuation is Exxon. Their market cap is $400 billion. The nearest tech company is Microsoft. Their market cap is $265 billion.


Deja Two

Two days ago, I wrote this story on TechCrunch predicting that Apple could overtake Exxon this fall as the most valuable public company in the world. 

It got about a billion pageviews, was all over Techmeme, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. Everyone read it. Most of the commenters called me insane, but well, they’re commenters.

Anyway, fast-forward to today.

Mashable: Apple Is $50 Billion Away From Becoming The World’s Most Valuable Company

NYT: World’s Most Valuable Company? Apple Has $50 Billion to Go

Now, am I really to believe that neither of these publications read my post two days ago? (Naturally, there are no links, or this wouldn’t be brought up.) That they independently were tracking and came up with the same idea? Market Cap isn’t a hugely popular thing to watch in our space, it’s just one of those things I’ve obsessed over for a while because I knew it would be interesting to watch over time for contextual purposes. Like this.

Worse, Apple isn’t even really within $50 billion of Exxon yet, they’re still about $55 billion away. So it’s odd that both would jump the gun and push out the post for a milestone that actually hasn’t happened. Unless they had read my story two days before and were tracking the numbers due to that, including the after-hours numbers.

Perhaps it was the part where I suggested that after Apple announced their Q3 earnings (which was the following day — yesterday), the gap with Exxon should close quickly.

I’m sure I’m just being paranoid and that this isn’t yet more jackassery in the blogosphere.

Update: Make it Deja Three.

AllThingsD: Apple Could Eclipse Exxon in Market Cap

The post cites an analyst thinking along these lines. It should cite “an analyst that reads TechCrunch” or just “TechCrunch”.

Update 2: Make it Deja Four.

Electronista (which rarely seems to have its own articles/ideas): Apple poised to beat Exxon Mobil in market cap