Apple has 4th most profitable quarter in history of Earth

Today, Apple announced it's Q1 result for 2012, bringing in record profits which surpass anything the company has ever seen. The Cupertino giant reported revenue of $46.33 billion, with net profit of $13.06 billion. Not bad for a company that was floundering just ten years ago.

What's staggering, however, is this table over on Wikipedia that shows the "largest corporate quarterly earnings of all time" where Apple comes in at fourth place.

# Company Industry Country Year Fiscal Quarter Report Date Earnings (bn) USD Inflation to June 2011 USD Real Earnings (bn)
1 Gazprom Oil and gas  Russia 2011 1Q 30 August 2011 $16.24    
2 Royal Dutch Shell Oil and gas  Netherlands 2008 2Q 30 June 2008 $15.68 3.16% $16.18
3 ExxonMobil Oil and gas  United States 2008 3Q 30 September 2008 $14.8 3.17% $15.27
4 Apple Consumer electronics  United States 2012 1Q 24 January 2012 $13.06 0% $13.06
5 ExxonMobil Oil and gas  United States 2007 4Q 31 December 2007 $11.66 7.47% $12.53
6 ExxonMobil Oil and gas  United States 2005 4Q 31 December 2005 $10.71 14.7% $12.28
7 ExxonMobil Oil and gas  United States 2008 2Q 30 June 2008 $11.68 3.16% $12.05
8 ExxonMobil Oil and gas  United States 2006 3Q 30 September 2006 $10.49 11.25% $11.67

A quick inspection of the chart shows just how close Apple is to the top, a mere $3 billion away from being the most profitable ever. What you may not have noticed, however is that Apple is the only consumer electronics company on the chart. Actually, the company is the only one that isn't in the oil and gas sector, which is incredible.

The below graph from MacRumors shows just how big of a jump Apple experienced this quarter compared to previous ones, and it's hard to grasp the scale of money involved. For a company that "failed" by launching the iPhone 4S, they're doing pretty well.

It's hard to see how a company this large (Apple is worth more than Greece now, by the way) could lose such a tight grip on the market, unless it fell into complacency like companies such as RIM did. It's likely we'll see some revolutionary products this year that are very different from anything we've seen before.

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