On August 2, 2018, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) became the first American company to post a market cap of over $1 trillion. By July 31 of last year, its market cap reached $2 trillion, on the back of massive iPhone sales. Only five U.S. companies have topped the $1 trillion market cap milestone. Facebook, the fifth, just did so after a federal court dismissed an antitrust action brought against it by the Federal Trade Commission and several state attorneys general.
The five companies have one thing in common. They are the dominant tech companies in their sectors. Whatever charges authorities bring or do not bring about whether they are monopolies, they are unquestionable without any real competition. Each was created by a powerful founder or founders, two of which still run the companies they started.
Apple remains at the top of the market cap list with a figure of $2.23 trillion. iPhone 12 sales have not slowed. Its iPad product continues to be at the top of the tablet food chain. The Mac, among the company’s oldest products, still sells well. Apple’s services business is the fastest growing, allowing the company to continue to diversify beyond hardware. Its only real competitor in the smartphone business worldwide is Samsung.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) has a market cap of $2.02 trillion. It has diversified beyond the personal computer (PC) and server operating systems to become a major factor in the cloud computing systems, where it generally is rated in second place based on market share. It has moved aggressively into the PC business with its Surface. Its Xbox remains a major part of the video game business. Windows 11 has just been introduced and is expected to extend Microsoft’s domination on the PC, as well as extending Microsoft’s cloud presence.
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has a market cap of $1.74 trillion and is still run by founder Jeff Bezos, who is about to turn over the CEO position to lieutenant Andrew Jassy. It not only has become the leader in cloud computing, based on market share, via Amazon Web Services, but it has been the leading e-commerce company in America for decades. Moreover, it has moved successfully into the consumer electronics business with its line of home Alexa-driven devices. Amazon also is a global leader in video on demand via its Prime service.
Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), most widely known by its earlier name, Google, has become a collection of several businesses. Its market cap is $1.67 trillion. Search advertising, its original operation, remains its largest. It also has the most visited video site in the world with YouTube. Its Android operating system runs the majority of the world’s smartphones. Most of these phones also include the company’s map, Gmail, document and spreadsheet features.
Finally, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is the world’s largest social media company. The service has as many as 2.8 billion members, spanning almost every country in the world. Its membership base makes it one of the largest advertising platforms on earth. It also owns wildly successful Instagram, WhatsApp and its Messenger service. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg still completely controls the company.