A record 184 technology companies claim a spot on the 2019 Global 2000 rankings. That’s up more than 40% in just one year, a critical year that’s seen smartphone sales continue to slip in trial markets, no end to the threat of looming regulation and adverse demand shocks along the supply chain.
Encompassing chipmakers, cloud computers and information-sharing gatekeepers, the world’s largest technology companies have their guard up, and the largest players are either reaping the benefits of necessary pivots or watching their income statements suffer.
There’s no better example than the world’s largest technology company for the fourth-straight year. Cupertino, California-based Apple, up two spots to #6 in the overall rankings, has felt the sting of a saturating smartphone market, but thanks to a growing services segment, thinning margins and an enhanced suite of product offerings, its income statement holds strong.
With annual revenue of $262 billion, the consumer tech monolith had the largest top line out of all other tech companies on Forbes’ 17th annual Global 2000. And, once again, 33-year-old Apple reigns as the world’s most profitable company with a bottom line of $59 billion.
Outside the top spot, bearish calls aimed at consumer tech companies seem harder to ignore. Fellow smart device-maker Samsung is again number two, after a year marked by a 13% top-line blow at the hands of the weakening smartphone cycle, which also hit the South Korea firm’s chipmaking business. Fellow semiconductor-maker Intel fared better on a thriving data center group, but recent calls for continued price declines in its chips have cut Intel’s prospects.
No trillion-dollar market caps made it to this year’s list, but Microsoft and Alphabet hold strong as the world’s third- and fourth-largest tech companies, respectively. Amazon and Alibaba (in case you’re wondering) are featured in our retail breakdown.
Who’s new on the tech front? Ride-sharing platform Lyft clung onto the list at #1949 after a February IPO, although larger rival Uber didn’t start trading publicly until after the date cut-off for data collection. Beijing-based smartphone maker Xiaomi also debuts after a lukewarm listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in July.
And what about the digital frontier? Strengthening calls to break up Facebook follow a year of continued scrutiny for the world’s seventh-largest tech company, #63 in the global rankings and the highest appearance of a social media company on the list. Across the Pacific, Shenzhen-based Tencent strengthens its hold over the digitally consumed media & entertainment markets of China.
The only company to move down in the top 20 is HP. The computer hardware giant has had its business model threatened at the hands of cheaper third-party printing supply alternatives that have proliferated the industry.
All told, the technology companies on the 2019 Global 2000 account for more than $9 trillion in market value, $4 trillion in assets and nearly $3 trillion in sales.