The hype surrounding Facebook’s IPO filing was huge and the recent forecast that Twitter’s ad revenue is set to hit US$540-million by 2014 was news in and of itself. Here’s the thing though, Apple makes way more than either of the social networking giants. In fact, it pulls in more in a day than Twitter does in a year.
Apple posted quarterly revenue of US$46.33-billion and record quarterly net profit of US$13.06-billion.
Thing is, Apple is a much older, more established company. Okay, that doesn’t guarantee success but it does mean that it’s had more time to figure out what works for it and what doesn’t (It doesn’t hurt that it had the genius of Steve Jobs behind its 21st century renaissance).
Twitter’s only just getting into multiple revenue streams and its product is entirely online. A number of Apple’s products — both hardware and software — are globally dominant.
The sales figures of its flagship products alone bear witness to how well it’s doing. In the first quarter of 2012 it sold 37.04-million iPhones, representing 128% unit growth over the same quarter in 2011. Add in 15.43 million iPads and 5.2 million Macs (both seeing significant growth over the same period in 2011) and it’s easy to see why Apple is so flush.
It’s also worthwhile remembering that Twitter followed the “subscribers now, revenue later” formula. As TheNextWeb’s Jon Russell notes: “Twitter is still building the financial part of its business through its advertising options — which have been positively received — and it’s fair to say that it is really still building its user base and expanding into mainstream demographics”.
At any rate, such comparisons may become null and void as both companies become a part of each other’s revenue streams.
As Russell notes, Apple’s latest operating system iOS5 has Twitter built into its core. Following the release of the OS, Dick Costolo revealed that the social network saw the number of sign-ups from Apple devices increase three-fold.