The Daily Beast
April 25, 2012
By Zachary Karabell
Yet again, Apple announced record sales and earnings. Yet again, its “Jobs report” stood in stark contrast to the monthly official jobs report. For the past four years, as the U.S. economy has stumbled, Apple has soared. As millions have lost jobs or stayed underemployed, Apple has sold more phones, iPads, and computers than most thought possible. While its success certainly has come at the expense of competitors such as Research in Motion (maker of the BlackBerry) and Nokia, it has generated tens of billions in revenue and sold tens of millions of devices by reaching new customers and not simply taking market share. And it has seen its most dramatic success during one of the worst economic slumps in the developed world.
Many have reveled in Apple’s efflorescence. But how has a company that sells relatively costly devices generated so much growth during a period of such global economic duress? How has Apple become one of the largest companies ever when the countries that have supplied the bulk of its revenue—the United States especially—have been mired in economic crisis?