Apple passed Microsoft in market cap last May. It passed Microsoft in revenue in the third quarter of 2010.
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And now it's passed Microsoft in profit as well.
Apple's profit for the quarter ended March 31 was $5.99 billion.
Microsoft's profit was $5.23 billion. Not even close.
Half of Apple's revenue came from the iPhone, a market where Microsoft isn't competitive -- and even if Windows Phone sells tens of millions of units after the Nokia deal, Microsoft will only earn $15 or $20 on each handset, compared with several hundreds of dollars per iPhone for Apple.
There is one financial metric where Microsoft is still ahead: margins.
Microsoft's net profit as a percentage of revenue was 32%.
Apple's was 24%. That's unbelievable and spectacular for a hardware company, but software has much lower cost of goods -- once you've recovered your R&D investment, every sale is pure profit -- and Microsoft is still primarily a software company.
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