That’s it! You may have heard of it but Apple has reached the exclusive club of the company with a market capitalization over $500 billions.
That certainly deserve some celebration but instead what you see all over the place is all sort of comparisons. The latest one claim that Apple is bigger than Poland! And I would like to point out how stupid that kind of comparison can be!!!
The market capitalization of Apple is indeed slightly over $500B but it does not make any sense to compare that to the GDP of Poland because the GDP is the amount of wealth produced by Poland in a year and certainly not the value of the country (otherwise it would be really really cheap and worth buying).
A more meaningful comparison would be to compare Apple Net Income with a country GDP. Using the last full year available data for Apple income ($26 B for the fiscal year ending in September 2011) the company would rank 89 out of 232 countries, just before Ethiopia.
And if that sounds weak to you, remember that we are comparing the profit of a company with the total wealth produced by a country. Also keep in mind, this Net Income is growing much faster than any country has ever been able to grow. With a forecast for 2012 at an estimated $40 B the company would rank #78.