Microsoft, Apple Trade Blows For Top Spotby@sheharyarkhan
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Microsoft, Apple Trade Blows For Top Spot

by Sheharyar KhanJanuary 31st, 2024
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What company is more valuable, Microsoft or Apple? That's the question Wall Street wants to answer entering into 2024.

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What company is more valuable, Microsoft or Apple? That's the question Wall Street wants to answer entering into 2024 as both firms compete head to head in a race to be crowned victor.

With a market capitalization of over $3 trillion, Apple has been the most valuable company in the world for quite some time now, but after the ultra sensationalized success of Microsoft-backed OpenAI's ChatGPT, the Windows maker has slowly gained ground and finally broke the $3 trillion threshold to appear as a formidable challenger to the creator of iPhone.

In fact, at the time of writing, Microsoft already was the most valuable company in the world, but in the infamous words of Dr. Dre, "Anybody can get it; The hard part is keepin' it, motherf*cker."

So now the question is, will Microsoft remain the most valuable company in the world? Well.. Say what you will of Microsoft's business, products, and business products, the company holds a commendable sway over the industries it operates in. We're talking OSs; Productivity tools; Cloud; the list goes on. As we understand it, there's no part of the technology world that doesn't rely on or use a Microsoft product in some shape, way, or form to function, and that's precisely why the company has been able to invent and reinvent itself while staying relevant since the time it was founded by Bill Gates.

Instead of wanting to sell products directly to customers, a majority of Microsoft's business has to do with offering tools to the people that make the products that then customers want to buy. And that's a very important distinction to make because that's what makes Microsoft a little different from Apple, which is very, very reliant on customer trends.

Apple's entire business model has to do with making products people want, and it is very, very good at what it does. Apple products are cleverly designed, often innovative, and come with the oomph consumers are looking for, but there's really not a lot the company can do if people just can't (or won't!) buy its iPhones, as was the case recently when the company reportedly saw a 30% decline in the smartphone's sales in China due to growing competition from the likes of Huawei. And THAT perhaps is the biggest reason why the company's stock price has been taking a dip, leaving Microsoft with the opportunity to zoom on past ahead.

Microsoft's stock also did phenomenally well last year, rising 57% in 2023 as compared to the 48% rise Apple shares experienced last year. So it's safe to say, the future, as it stands, belongs to Apple and Microsoft, at least, in terms of who is the most valuable — regardless of who is #1.

So with Microsoft and Apple so far ahead, where does that leave the likes of Google and Amazon? Unfortunately for Google parent Alphabet, CEO Sundar Pichai's prediction that the success of ChatGPT was a code red for the company may be coming true since the company hasn't even reached the $2 trillion mark! Meanwhile, Amazon is stuck in a range of legal issues involving its business practices and finds itself at an even lower valuation than Google.

The one rising star amongst all of these companies continues to be Nvidia, which not only became worth $1 trillion last year, has already experienced such a surge in its share price that it's already halfway through to adding anothertrillion to its market share. For those that don't know, Nvidia sells the hardware that makes generative AI possible.

Source: Companies Market Cap

Anyway, it's going to be a wiiiiiiiiiiild ride this year and we'd be excited to see who comes up on top.

Microsoft was ranked #1 on HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankingsthis week, followed by Apple at #3, Google at #5 and Amazon at #6.

Microsoft Rank on HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankings

Amazon Rank on HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankings

Google Rank on HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankings

👋 You’re reading HackerNoon's Tech Company News Brief, a weekly collection of tech goodness that combines HackerNoon's proprietary data with internet trends to determine which companies are rising and falling in the public consciousness. Subscribe here to receive the complete newsletter in your inbox every Tuesday.

Reddit, Now Coming to a Stock Exchange Near You! 👽

Love it or hate it, Reddit is as much a part of the internet lexicon as Google or Facebook. Depending on what you fancy, there's almost always a community to be found, and some reddit threads are.. Well, classic.

Reddit might not necessarily have the same corporate clout as traditional social media companies, or, atleast, the deep coffers that run in billions, but it does command sizable respect around the web, particularly as an outlet for some of the more niche communities. I mean, who hasn't turned to Reddit to find answers to burning questions about.. Ahem, bowel movements.

Now, Reddit wants a seat at the big boys' table. Having been the platform where "meme stocks" originated, the social media company now wants to float its own stocks to the public market with a soon-to-be-coming initial public offering this year.

According to media reports, the mecca of memes (4chan not counted because of Rule #1 😉) could file for an IPO as early as February, with plans to wrap up the entire process by the end of March. The IPO has been a long time coming, with the platform said to have sketched plans to go public as far back as 2021; for one reason or the other, the company held up on actually pulling the trigger, but the plan seems to be picking up steam.

So how much is Reddit going to be worth? During its last funding round in 2021, the platform was said to be worth about $10 billion despite the fact that it has never come close to profitability. The valuation might sound like a lot until you realize that it's next to nothing when compared to the likes of Meta (close to a trillion dollars in valuation) and TikTok-owner Bytedance (hundreds of billions of dollars).

Nonetheless, the public at large will have a chance to own a piece of the pie with the IPO which would see Reddit float 10% of its ownership in public markets. So keep your eyes peeled for when that happens!

What's Up With Bitcoin? 🪙

To any crypto pundit who thought the world's largest currency was headed To the Moon™, what the heck is going on with Bitcoin??

Ever since the US Securities & Exchange Commission approved a bunch of spot bitcoin exchange traded funds (ETF), the price of the cryptocurrency keeps falling. In fact, as of the time of this writing, bitcoin has gone down to below $40,000 at least once!

But don't worry, if you're just as confused as we are as to what's going on, we just might have the answer for you.

The ETF approval was already pegged as a "sell-the-news" event by on-chain analysis firm CryptoQuant, one of the very few firms that warned bitcoin prices would go down following the SEC action. The firm continues to maintain that bitcoin will fall to around $32,000 as the market corrects itself, possibly spelling doom for Hodlers who got in the action when bitcoin was in the $40,000 range (unless said Hodlers have diamond hands). And if things continue the way they are, it's likely the firm's analysis will come true.

But keeping aside what analysts say, part of the reason why bitcoin prices have gone down has to do with now defunct crypto exchange FTX, which apparently sold $1 billion worth of  Grayscale's Bitcoin ETF as part of its bankruptcy proceedings.

Whether bitcoin is going to go up or down is anyone's guess, but it should be interesting to see how the crypto landscape evolves with the SEC's oversight (the cryptocurrency is already up back to $42k levels!).

Fun fact: HackerNoon is running a poll asking the community what THEY think about the whole bitcoin pricing scenario, so feel free to add your voice to the discussion.

In Other News.. 📰

  • NFTs Outpaced Ether's Gains in January — via CoinDesk
  • Elon Musk’s $56B Tesla pay deal is unfair, judge rules — via TechCrunch
  • MrBeast tested Elon Musk’s theory and took home $250,000 — via CNN
  • Investors punish Microsoft, Alphabet as AI returns fall short of lofty expectations — via Reuters
  • Tech rivals hound Apple over EU App Store plans — via Axios
  • Lawmakers to grill CEOs of Meta, TikTok, X and other social media firms at hearing on child safety — via CNBC

And that's a wrap! Don't forget to share this newsletter with your family and friends See y'all next week. PEACE! ☮️

— Sheharyar Khan, Editor, Business Tech @ HackerNoon

*All rankings are current as of Monday. To see how the rankings have changed, please visit HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankings page.