Apple Drops to #4 Spot in Annual Fortune 500 Rankings

apple logo grayAfter retaining the #3 spot on the Fortune 500 list for the past two years, in 2018 Apple has dropped one place and now sits at #4 on the list of the top U.S. corporations based on gross revenue. Apple's displacement on the list came due to Exxon Mobil rising from #4 in 2017 to #2 in 2018.

The full top five spots were Walmart at #1, Exxon Mobil at #2, Berkshire Hathaway at #3, Apple at #4, and UnitedHealth Group at #5. Other technology companies on the list include Amazon at #8, AT&T at #9, Verizon at #16, Alphabet at #22, and Microsoft at #30.

Fortune broke down Apple's spot on the list, mainly citing the "overall saturation of smartphones" as a potential reason for the company's inability to rise higher in the rankings. Fortune discussed similar problems for Apple in the company's profile last year, stating at the time that "Apple finally appeared to hit a wall" in reference to its reliance on iPhone sales.

fortune 500 2018

Apple took a small step back, from No. 3 to No. 4, despite a 6% gain in annual sales, but it led the way in profits with more than $48 billion in net income. In short, the Apple juggernaut continues at tremendous scale and despite the overall saturation of smartphones, which make up the vast majority of the company’s sales and profits. In an unusual move, Apple introduced three new phones, the upgraded iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, as well as the redesigned iPhone X (pronounced “ten”), powered by facial-recognition technology. Services likes Apple Pay and Apple Music continued to rise too.

Going back eight years, Apple's previous rankings include 5th place in 2015 and 2014, 6th place in 2013, 17th place in 2012, 35th place in 2011 and 56th place in 2010. This year marks 24 years that Apple has been on the Fortune 500 list, with $229.2 billion of revenue and $48.3 billion of profits in the 2017 fiscal year. Although it lags behind the companies in revenue, Apple still beats the top three Fortune 500 companies in terms of annual profits, with Walmart at $9.9 billion, Exxon Mobil at $19.7 billion, and Berkshire Hathaway at $44.9 billion.

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Top Rated Comments

RevTEG Avatar
80 months ago
Meh. None of the first three "create" anything. Not impressive.
They may not "create" but they do "provide" products that it seems many people need or want.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dagored Avatar
80 months ago
Apple dropped because in the last few years they have disappointed many customers with their products.

I am still holding out for a more improved laptop to replace my 6 year old Air. Apple has lagged in the notebook line IMHO.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
80 months ago
Hurray, hurray! Let's celebrate 38% gross margins!

All together now.
On 1, 2, 3, let's us give it the all-time shout
Go Higher! And Higher!
The distance between #4 and #1 could be mostly made up by Apple just doubling their prices. And why would we care? What's important to us is Apple coming in first in such contests. Anyone actually having any price sensitivity could either be run off ("why are you here?") or put in their place by spinning payment plan numbers with ever-longer terms ("just $X more per month").

Double them prices! Double them prices!

Furthermore, if Apple would quadruple their prices, they could probably double the revenue of the current #1. That would not be just taking first place... but doubling the runner up. We could sooooo celebrate such a leap. How much better the world would be if 4X the money flowed to Apple! Our individual lives would be so much better if our favorite corporation was that much richer.

Quadruple them prices! Quadruple them prices!

In either case, since unit costs would remain about the same, all of that doubled or quadrupled revenue would be added profit too... significantly strengthening our old standby of "...but who makes the most profitable _________".

All ;) (hopefully)
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TiggrToo Avatar
80 months ago
Apple dropped because in the last few years they have disappointed many customers with their products.

I am still holding out for a more improved laptop to replace my 6 year old Air. Apple has lagged in the notebook line IMHO.
Apple 'dropped'? You sure? Odd how you'd think that because it pretty obvious that the inverse is true. They're at 4th not because they've 'dropped' but because the other three have higher revenue figures. Next time look deeper into the facts before posting.

You must have forgotten I assume where Apple confirmed they had a record first Q1 just a few weeks ago.

Apple's global revenue from 1st quarter 2005 to 2nd quarter 2018 (in billion U.S. dollars) ('https://www.statista.com/statistics/263426/apples-global-revenue-since-1st-quarter-2005/')



Attachment Image
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheShadowKnows! Avatar
80 months ago
Hurray, hurray! Let's celebrate 38% gross margins!

All together now.
On 1, 2, 3, let's us give it the all-time shout
Go Higher! And Higher!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
80 months ago
Holy crap! Some of these comments are an ugly indictment of our education system. Reading comprehension is at an all time low it seems. Apple "dropped" relative to other companies having higher revenue this year. They didn't drop because they sold less, ignored pro users, concentrated on emoji, or took advice from Siri. Apple actually had better revenue on this year's list ($229B for the #4 spot) than last year's list ($215B for the #3 spot). It's a simple comparison. Apple could hypothetically have a $300B year and fall to #10 if 9 other companies have years better than $300B. No conspiracy theory needed.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)