Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

The iPhone alone is worth more than all but 10 companies in the world

November 18, 2010: 4:25 PM ET

In a provocative thought experiment, Trefis compares its spinoff value to the rest of industry

Source: Trefis

Assume Apple (AAPL) today is worth $391 billion (nearly 40% more than its current market cap), as the analysts at Trefis estimate it to be.

Assume as well, as they do, that the iPhone represents 53.5% of that value.

Then it follows, according to them, that the iPhone, were Steve Jobs to spin it off as a separate company, would be worth $209 billion.

How does that compare with the largest companies in, say, the automotive industry, or pharmaceuticals, or media?

It would dwarf them all. In fact, team Trefis could find only ten companies on the planet -- three of them Chinese -- that are more valuable than the iPhone. They are

  • AT&T (T): worth $224 billion in Trefis' valuation
  • Petro China (energy): $225 billion
  • China Construction Bank (banking): $229 billion
  • IBM (IBM): $234 billion
  • BHP (mining): $236 billion
  • Procter & Gamble (PG): $243 billion
  • Microsoft (MSFT): $262 billion
  • ICBC (banking) : $265 billion
  • Exxon Mobil (XOM): $349 billion
  • and, of course, Apple itself: $391 billion

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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