Apple Has 10 Percent of All Corporate Cash and More Profits Than the Three (Other) Biggest Brands Combined

It's rich.
More

For the first time in the last 13 years, the biggest brand in the world isn't Coca-Cola, according to the Interbrand Best Global Brands survey. It's Apple.

More impressive, Apple's profits (or 2012 net income) are greater than the next three most powerful global brands—Google, Coca-Cola, and IBM—combined. Net income is not a perfectly clear way to measure corporate health and profit, but it's standard, and by this standard Apple's position atop the pyramid of global brands is all the more amazing considering that, unlike most of the names in the  chart above, it's selling a luxury product.

Take Samsung, the biggest smartphone maker in the world by sales. Samsung's revenue inched ahead of Apple last year, but its margins are much lower. In fact, Apple profits are just about equal to Samsung's profits ... plus the profits of Google, Coca-Cola, and McDonald's, three of the world's most famous brands.

It's no wonder then, with Apple collecting such a bounty with each iPhone and iPad sale, that the company is sitting on $147 billion in cash. How much is $147 billion? It's more than the market cap of Amazon. It's 10 percent of all non-financial corporate cash and growing, as Quartz reported.

Apple might turn into the next decade's Microsoft: a massive money machine that specializes in tweaking one or two products and stops making new successful things, to the disappointment of investors and consumers alike. But today? What a massive money machine it is.

 
Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Social Security: The Greatest Government Policy of All Time?

It's the most effective anti-poverty program in U.S. history. So why do some people hate it?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In