Flickr User TerryJohnston
Wonder how Apple got to be the most valuable business on the planet (more than Microsoft and Google combined?). Over the holiday season, consumer analytics firm NPD found that Apple accounted for roughly 19%of consumer spending (or nearly 1/5th). This was more than twice the closest competitor, Hewlett-Packard. Apple had stunningly good growth, 36%, compared to all of the other top brands, which had negative growth (HP (-3%), Samsung (-6%), Dell (-17%), and Sony (-21%).
Even though Apple isn't a retail chain, it had a strong showing against the retail giants, Walmart and Best Buy, coming in at an admirable 3rd place. Amazon and Staples tied for 3rd place.
As a result, Apple has raked-in a staggering 462 billion dollars. What do you do with all that cash? One thing Apple proposed is to build a massive UFO-shaped office building to hold its growing workforce. Below is a video of Steve Jobs shortly before his death speaking before the local government on the plan: