Apple stock jumped again today. The company is now worth $336 billion. That is almost $100 billion more than Microsoft and well over twice the value of Oracle. They are now the largest technology company that has ever existed. Apple is also the largest content distributor and the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the United States. There are over 325,000 active apps in the App Store. They have been downloaded almost 10 billion times. Gartner expects the App Store will generate a stunning $27 billion over the next two years. With Verizon coming online as a carrier, 2011 is looking good for Apple.
2011 may be the year tech IPOs make a comeback. SEC regulations on investment will require Facebook to disclose detailed financials or go public by April 2012. Goldman Sachs puts their value at $50 billion. The worlds largest social network boasts over half a billion active users, each of which produce an average of 90 pieces of content per month. 20 million Facebook applications are installed by users every day. Use of mobile devices to access Facebook is rocketing. 200 million users access Facebook via their phone. I'm guessing 2011 will be the year mobile access to Facebook will surpass access via desktop browsers. That is already the case with social networks in Japan. I also believe Facebook will become even more distributed with a significant amount of access occurring via widgets on other sites. It will be the end of the walled garden.
Web companies like Groupon are raising enormous amounts of capital. Kleiner Perkins' latest investment puts Groupon past the halfway point in a $950 million round that puts their value at $4.75 billion. Apparently they weren't crazy to walk away from Google's offer. I think 2011 will be the year we see a massive push back from vendors. Groupon better figure out how to handle this or the folks who gave them their billion dollar round will be very unhappy.
In 2011 we will see Google put an enormous amount of its resources into graduating from being an advertising company. Advertising revenue currently dwarfs all other streams combined. I think 2011 will be the year of Google Apps, Android and Google location based services. This year Google Apps will become the defacto standard for email, calendaring and document management for small and medium size organizations. Thousands are switching every day. Getting the majority of larger organizations will take a little longer, but it will happen. No other company is in a position to dominate cloud based core IT infrastructure for the majority of companies in the world. Google has the platform (over a million servers that handle, among other things, over a billion searches per day), the technical expertise and the capital to make this happen. For this reason, and many others, I think they are currently massively undervalued.
Finally, 2011 will be the year Twitter is bought by Facebook, Google or Microsoft. I'm rooting for Google because I'd love to see real time search come to the search tool I use everyday.