Microsoft will surpass Apple as world’s most valuable company

As Apple grapples with declining iPhone sales, Microsoft's surge in stock value intensifies the race for tech supremacy, setting the stage for a potential shift in the dynamics between these industry giants.

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FILE PHOTO: Microsoft logo is seen on the smartphone in front of displayed Apple logo in this illustration taken, July 26, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Microsoft appears determined to surpass Apple as the world’s most valuable company. This shift comes after a recent decline in Apple’s stock, driven by apprehensions regarding iPhone sales.

In 2024, Apple’s shares have dropped by 4%, following a remarkable 48% surge in the previous year. In contrast, Microsoft has seen a 2% increase in its shares this year, building on a substantial 57% rise in 2023. On Wednesday, Apple’s shares experienced a 0.4% dip, while Microsoft’s rose by 1.6%, further closing the gap between the two tech giants. Currently, Apple’s market value is at $2.866 trillion, with Microsoft closely trailing at $2.837 trillion.

On December 14, Apple reached its highest market capitalization at $3.081 trillion, while Microsoft achieved a high value of $2.844 trillion on November 28. Nevertheless, there has been a 30% decline in iPhone sales in China during the initial week of 2024, indicating heightened competition from local contenders such as Huawei.

Apple is gearing up for a significant product launch with its Vision Pro mixed-reality headset on February 2 in the United States, marking its most substantial release since the iPhone in 2007. Despite this, a report projected that Vision Pro sales would have a “relatively immaterial” impact on Apple’s earnings per share in 2024.

Microsoft has intermittently surpassed Apple as the most valuable company a few times since 2018, notably in 2021 when concerns about supply chain shortages related to the COVID-19 pandemic affected Apple’s stock price.

In its most recent quarterly report for the end of 2023, Apple provided a sales forecast that fell short of expectations, primarily due to weak demand for iPads and wearables. Analysts anticipate Apple to post a modest revenue increase of 0.7% to $117.9 billion for the December quarter, marking its first year-on-year revenue growth in four quarters. Apple is scheduled to release its results on February 1.

On the other hand, analysts project Microsoft to announce a 16% increase in revenue, reaching $61.1 billion, driven by sustained growth in its cloud business. Microsoft’s results are expected in the coming weeks.


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