Explained: How Jobs turned loser Apple into insanely huge winner

Thursday, 6 October 2011 - 1:59pm IST
While the 27-year-old Macintosh and the nine-year-old iPod continue to be strongholds for Apple, the company's newer products have eclipsed the old guard.
Arun Kumar
In the 14 years since his return to Apple in 1997, Steve Jobs turned the company with a loss of more than $1 billion to a tech giant with sales of $7.1 billion.
With now-iconic products like the iPod, iPhone and most recently the iPad lifting Apple's sales into the stratosphere, Wall Street analysts expect that by the end of 2011, Apple will be the second-largest tech company in the US by revenue, behind only Hewlett-Packard.
In just the first three quarters of this year, Apple has already racked up record sales of almost $80 billion -- and turned a $19.3 billion profit, according to CNNMoney. Analysts expect its full-year sales to easily top $100 billion.
While the 27-year-old Macintosh and the nine-year-old iPod continue to be strongholds for Apple, the company's newer products have eclipsed the old guard.
Soaring iPhone sales growth and the wildly successful iPad have given the company a major boost. The iPad has even outsold Macs for the last four quarters.
Apple has been able to charge high prices while maintaining relatively low manufacturing costs. That's given it a cash stash that keeps growing -- and now tops $76 billion.
The Macintosh had been Apple's single largest source of revenue in nearly every year of its existence. This year, the emergence of the iPad as an unexpectedly giant revenue stream threatens to make Mac just the third-largest sales driver for Apple.
iPod sales continue to be strong, but they are no longer growing. In fact, sales have fallen for three straight years, after Apple saturated the market with the devices. This year is shaping up to be no different, with sales tumbling 13 percent so far in 2011.

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