Saturday, January 13, 2024

Microsoft Overtakes Apple in Market Value

User avatar of William Ross

William Ross

2 min read·341 Reads
Microsoft Overtakes Apple in Market Value

In a significant shift in the tech industry, Microsoft's stock market value eclipsed Apple's for the first time since 2021 at the end of a recent trading session. This milestone marked Microsoft as the most valuable company globally, a position impacted by growing concerns over the demand for Apple's flagship product, the iPhone.

Stock Performance: A Comparative Analysis

During the trading day on Friday, Microsoft saw a notable increase in its share value, rising by 1%, while Apple experienced a modest gain of 0.2%. These changes in stock prices led to Microsoft reaching a market capitalization of $2.887 trillion, the highest in the company's history, based on data provided by LSEG. In contrast, Apple's market value was slightly lower at $2.875 trillion, as per the latest financial data filed on Thursday, January 12.

Apple's Declining Shares Amidst Rising Competition

The dynamics of smartphone demand have notably influenced Apple's market performance. The company's shares have declined by 3% in the early part of 2024, following a significant 48% increase in the previous year. On the other hand, Microsoft has witnessed a positive trend, with its stock value rising approximately 3% year-to-date. This increase follows a robust 57% surge in 2023, partly fueled by the company's advancements in generative artificial intelligence, notably through its investment in OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT.

Apple's Market Challenges in China

Apple's peak market capitalization reached $3.081 trillion on December 14, as recorded by LSEG. However, the company has faced challenges due to subdued demand in key markets, including China. The slow recovery of the Chinese economy from the COVID-19 pandemic and increased competition from Huawei have adversely affected Apple's market share in this significant region.

Microsoft's AI Advantage and Market Strategy

Microsoft has strategically integrated OpenAI's technology across its suite of productivity software, which has contributed to a resurgence in its cloud-computing segment, particularly noticeable in the July-September quarter. This adoption of AI technology has not only enhanced Microsoft's product offerings but also positioned it as a formidable competitor to Google in the web search domain.

Apple's New Ventures and Market Response

Conversely, Apple has been dealing with lukewarm demand for its products, including the iPhone, which has traditionally been its primary revenue generator. The company's latest major product launch, the Vision Pro mixed-reality headset, slated to begin sales on February 2 in the United States, has been met with cautious optimism. Analysts from UBS have predicted that the Vision Pro's sales would have a minimal impact on Apple's earnings per share in 2024.

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