Earlier today, Microsoft reported their Q4 numbers. They were good — a record for the quarter, even. And because it was the end of their fiscal year, Microsoft also stated their yearly numbers. Those were even better. The big number: $69.94 billion in revenue for the year. A new record for the company. Yes, for all the talk of Microsoft being in decline, they made more money than ever before.
But if those numbers are a “wow!”, then what do we call rival Apple’s numbers? I think we have to call them “holy shit!”
While this quarter just ended was technically Apple’s Q3, that’s only because they handle their accounting calendar differently than Microsoft does. So let’s take a look at Apple’s previous four quarters of revenue.
Q4 ’10: $20.34 billion
Q1 ’11: $26.74 billion
Q2 ’11: $24.67 billion
Q3 ’11: $28.57 billion
Altogether — ready for it? $100.32 billion. Yes, Apple is now a $100 billion-a-year company. Yes, they’re over $30 billion ahead of Microsoft — a company which had been beating the pants off of them for decades. Apple now makes more money in three quarters than Microsoft does in an entire year.
Okay, but that’s revenue. What about profit? Microsoft touted $23.15 billion in net income for the year. Apple only passed Microsoft in profit last quarter, the final financial piece to fall. Still, amazingly, Apple holds the yearly edge there too. $23.61 billion.
A year ago, Microsoft posted quarterly revenue of $16.04 billion. Meanwhile, Apple posted quarterly revenue of $15.7 billion — an all-time record for them at the time, including holiday quarters. A year later, Microsoft’s revenue rose by about $1.3 billion. Apple’s almost doubled — again, from what was an all-time record.
Apple passed Microsoft in revenue last October (the end of Apple’s Q4 and Microsoft’s Q1), since then, the gap has grown. The gap was $4 billion at the time. This past quarter it was over $11 billion.
Again, Apple passed Microsoft in profit last quarter. The gap was about $700 million. This past quarter, just one quarter later, it was almost $1.5 billion. The margin doubled.
The overall trend is pretty clear. But even more remarkable is that just two of Apple’s businesses — iPhone and iPad — are bigger than all of Microsoft’s businesses now, as Tom Krazit pointed out earlier. The iPhone is 4 years old. The iPad is just over a year old. Combined, they beat all of Microsoft’s massive legacy businesses combined.
Meanwhile, one of Microsoft’s pillars, Windows, actually shrank year-over-year in terms of revenue (and profit). But their quickly-growing new business, Entertainment & Devices, more than made up for it.
Again, Microsoft had a good quarter, and a great year. Their best ever. And it puts what Apple is doing into context.