Friday, July 29, 2011

Apple, PCs, Linux and the economy

Last month Matt Richman made a little calculation that went viral in certain geek circles.
Apple makes more money from the sale of one Mac than HP does from selling seven PCs.
AppleInsider illustrated Matt's conclusion:

Now I see a related story trending: Apple has more money than the US government! Granted, Obama appears to be facing unprecedented financial trouble, but still... Steve Jobs is loaded!
As Republicans and Democrats continue to work towards a compromise to the country’s debt ceiling crisis, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday that Washington now has a total operating balance of only US$73.768-billion. Meanwhile, Apple currently boasts a cash reserve of US$75.876-billion, as of its most recent quarterly earnings report at the end of June.
See Financial Post / U.S. balance now less than Apple cash, SF Chronicle / Apple Now Has More Cash Than The U.S. Government (AAPL).

But hey, where is Linux in this? How much money did Linux save businesses and people? Is not having to spend any money or at least not as much money not a value? One estimate is 29 million Linux users. If each should have spent just 100 $ on operating systems it would total to almost 3 billion $. That's a quick, dirty and conservative estimate of how much has been saved by current installations. Linux has let people and businesses save money for two decades.

Another thing: Comparing stock performances of Apple, HP and Red Hat on Google Finance for the past year shows the Linux and OS X companies going up together, HP down alone.


  1. Another question for politicians concerned about piracy is how many crimes Linux prevented. I have never run a legal windows in my life, and never paied for an OS. For me the choice was between a pirated Windows or Linux. And I think I am not alone.

  2. True, Maladets!

    PS: I only attempted to scratch the surface with the 3 billion $ estimate. Countless other savings comes on top of that, ie cheaper web hosting.