Microsoft has been the face of technology since the computer became personal. But today, Apple overthrew Microsoft’s throne as the most valuable technology company in the entire world. Good thing is, you don’t have to choose sides: you can own both in one exchange traded fund (ETF).
On Wednesday, Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) market value shot past Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) for the first time ever, reports Miguel Helft and Ashlee Vance of The New York Times. As of Wednesday, Apple was valued at $222.12 billion compared to Microsoft at $219.18 billion.
Only a decade earlier, Apple was given up for dead as Microsoft’s Windows and Office products took the PC industry by storm. Dell founder Michael S. Dell went so far as to suggest that Apple should shut down and return money to its shareholders. Microsoft’s chief technology officer at the time proclaimed Apple dead. [First Trust Makes a Name for Itself.]
But with Steve Jobs back at the helm of Apple in 1996, the company embraced a very prescient modus operandi: to marry hardware and software in the creation of beautiful and effortless consumer machines. Jobs understood that technology would be shaped by consumer tastes more than business needs.
With Steve Jobs in charge, Apple created “the best desktop computer, the best portable music player, the best smartphone and now the best tablet,” said Steve Perlman, CEO of OnLive. [Tech ETFs Rode a Robust Earnings Season.]
But as Microsoft struggles to catch up, Apple now faces formidable competition in Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). Google only has a market cap of $151.43 billion, but with GoogleTV soon to be released and the Android operating system growing at a steady clip, Apple will have to continue innovating to stay ahead. [More on the Tech Industry Here.]
You can easily own all three giants in a number of tech funds, including these:
- iShares S&P North America Technology (NYSEArca: IGM): Apple, 9.4%; Microsoft, 7.1%, Google, 5.4%
- Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLK): Apple, 10.6%; Microsoft, 9.1%; Google, 5.5%
- iShares Dow Jones U.S. Technology Sector (NYSEArca: IYW): Apple, 11.8%; Microsoft, 10.6%; Google, 6.2%
- Vanguard Information Technology (NYSEArca: VGT): Apple, 8.4%; Microsoft, 9.3%; Google, 5.4%
- PowerShares QQQ (NYSEArca: QQQQ): Apple, 16.5%; Microsoft, 4.9%; Google, 4.7%
Sumin Kim contributed to this article.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.