Microsoft is a stable business. Apple isn’t. The following charts compare the two. The two charts on top show revenues, subdivided into product lines. Microsoft is on the left and Apple on the right. Note that the vertical scales are the same (zero to $30 billion/quarter).
The lower two charts show operating income by division/product line. The left is again Microsoft with the line showing the consolidated income (net of losses). The right chart shows the stacked areas of profit from Apple’s product lines with the yellow line shooing consolidated income. I copied the blue line from the Microsoft chart for a more direct comparison.
Apple continues for the third quarter to have higher operating income and for the fifth quarter maintaining higher revenues.
The following two charts are also another way to view the two companies. As percent of total, how do the product/divisions stack up? The first is Microsoft revenues as percent of total and the second shows the equivalent for Apple.
This comparison I think is most evocative. The stability of Microsoft is contrasted with the dramatic change that Apple is experiencing in the same time frame.
There is a dramatic shift of focus from traditional computers (Mac) to devices. If profit is an indicator of where resources are being allocated, then there is no clearer visualization of the difference between the two companies’ strategies.
The following is a mix of all products/divisions operating income in one dense line chart (thicker lines are Microsoft divisions, thin lines are Apple products).
Finally, the comparison of operating income of iOS devices vs. consolidated operating income from all of Microsoft’s businesses.
As iOS shifts into its fifth iteration my guess is that Apple will continue its growth trajectory. As Microsoft continues to adapt or protect its businesses from tablets and mobiles, will they grow? If so, how? Microsoft has shown consistency, but that is becoming less and less desirable.