Alphabet, the holding company for Google, has passed Apple as the most valuable company in the world for the first time since February 2010. With an increase of approximately 8% after the company reported its fourth-quarter earnings, Alphabet‘s value is now approximately $568 billion, compared to Apple’s worth of $535 billion.
Alphabet, a software company with a few hardware bets, has seen a continuous rise in the stock market in the past twelve months. Apple, a hardware company with a few extra software bets, has been underperforming. Since July 2015, Google’s shares have risen 44% while Apple’s sank 16%.
Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat said in a statement, “Our very strong revenue growth in Q4 reflects the vibrancy of our business, driven by mobile search as well as YouTube and programmatic advertising, all areas in which we’ve been investing for many years”.
According to specialists, Apple’s major problem is relying mainly on the iPhone. Despite the fact that it is the best-selling smartphone globally, sales in the fiscal first quarter increased only 1% from a year earlier. Given that the iPhone accounts for two-thirds of Apple’s revenue and sales in the remaining one-third (consisting of iPad and Mac revenue) dropped, investors have expressed concerns about the future of the company.
Google on the other hand is convincing investors that its dominance, helped by its strong mobile advertising sales, will remain stable. The company is poised to capture 32% of the mobile ad market this year, according to eMarketer, while Facebook is expected to stay well behind with around 20%. The profitability of Google’s search engine and other online services have been generating so much profit that the company has been investing in all types of potential growth projects such as self-driving cars.