It has just been confirmed that in the financial results for the first quarter of 2011 the profit made by Apple surpassed that picked up by Microsoft for the first time in well over a decade. Apple had recently gone past their rival in terms of quarterly income but this is the first time they have managed to beat them on actual profit.
The Microsoft profit for the first three months of 2011 was a pretty impressive $5.23 billion but Apple beat that with a stunning $5.99 billion over the same period.
Is this a huge watershed moment or just a temporary glitch? It probably all depends upon the reason behind it, so let’s have a look at it then.
The main reason which analysts give for the turnaround is the huge rise in the sale of tablets such as the incredibly successful iPad from Apple. This has not only boosted the Apple profits but has also dented Microsoft’s figures.
The biggest victim of the tablet success has been the netbook market – as sale of these small laptops have slumped 40% compared to a 2% overall drop in PC sales.
You have to go way back to 1991 – Freddie Mercury died and Boris Yeltsin became the Russian leader so it wasn’t yesterday – to see the last time that Apple outperformed Microsoft. Is it likely to last? The most reasonable sounding answer is that it all depends upon the ongoing public reaction to the tablets. If these continue to be hot items then it seems that the only way is up for Apple while we would need to wait to see the Microsoft response.
Do you think tablets are the future of computing or a flash in the pan?