Exxon Mobil finished 2011 where it started: As the world's most valuable company
At one point in late September, Apple's market cap (share price times number of outstanding shares) was nearly $36 billion more than Exxon's.
But though Apple's shares ended the year having gained more than Exxon's (25.1% to 15.5%), it was not enough to overtake Exxon's initial lead. Exxon finished 2011 $30 billion ahead of Apple.
The fact is, the world can live without iPhones and iPads. It still can't get along without oil.
The creator of the answer engine in Siri writes about his long relationship with Jobs
There are a several novel anecdotes about Apple's (AAPL) late CEO in the piece British scientist Stephen Wolfram wrote for Saturday's The Guardian.
While at NeXT, Jobs took great interest in Wolfram's breakthrough algebra-solving computer program and even came up with a name for it: Mathematica
When Wolfram asked Jobs to blurb A New Kind of Science, Wolfram's 2002 book MORE
But then, neither is Microsoft gaining on Apple
As measured by market capitalization (i.e., stock price times number of shares) Apple (AAPL) overtook Microsoft (MSFT) in May 2010 to become the world's most valuable tech company.
Apple still trails Exxon Mobil (XOM), the No. 1 publicly traded company, by more than $90 billion.
Philip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 20, 2011 7:51 AM ET
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