Better than expected financial results boosted Apple's total value on the stock market above IBM's, Intel's and Nokia's value:
In the wake of the company’s better than expected earnings in the quarter ended Sept. 30, Apple’s shares rose by nearly 7 percent, making the company’s total market value $162 billion.
That edges out I.B.M., which is worth $155 billion. Apple also surged past Intel, worth $156 billion, and Nokia, the most valuable cellphone maker, which is worth $150 billion.
Indeed, Apple is now the fourth most valuable technology company, after Cisco ($189 billion), Google ($208 billion), and Microsoft ($290 billion).
Apple, interestingly, has something in common with these other companies. They all draw their power from software. Microsoft sells software in a box. Google delivers software online. Cisco, like Apple, delivers software embedded in devices, which it largely contracts to others to make.
But there is a key difference, too. The other three have established dominant positions in their markets, which fends off rivals and keeps margins high.
Apple is a distant No. 3 in PCs. It dominates personal music players, but it has a much more modest share if you define the consumer electronics market more broadly.