Can anyone catch Apple?

2 Nov 2012
Can anyone catch Apple?

Apple is now the world’s most valuable company. Can anyone threaten its dominance? We rate the prospects of Apple and its leading tech rivals

When you think about the global superpowers of the technology world, several names spring immediately to mind: Apple, Microsoft, Google and perhaps even Facebook.

But as they all have their strengths in different areas, that power can ebb and flow as the world changes.

Five years ago, the first fancy touchscreen iPhone arrived to send the smartphone industry into the stratosphere, and that was long before the idea of a consumer tablet was even talked about. Back then, desktop PCs were still in the ascendent; now they’re being replaced by a new breed of portables.

The technology industry changes fast, and companies must adapt. In this feature, we examine the ten main players: what products do they have planned? What deals have they made for the future? How are they changing to keep up with the competition?

For each of these companies, we’ll look at their share price over the past five years, discuss their plans, and give an informal verdict on their prospects – we’ve gone for either buy, sell or hold, but please don’t base any real-world investments on it! Finally, we look at a selection of plucky young upstarts that may eventually join the top table.

The companies

Apple

Facebook

Google

HP

Intel

Microsoft

Nokia

Nvidia

RIM

Samsung

Ones to watch

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Analysis