Throughout 2017, strong smartphone sales helped rake in $48.35 billion in profit for Apple. During the first quarter of 2018, Cupertino pocketed a cool $13.8 billion, compared to Amazon's total net income since starting of around $9.6 billion.
In just three months, Apple was able to profit more than Amazon has made in its entire lifetime. According to Warren Buffett, "If you look at Apple, I think it earns almost twice as much as the second most profitable company in the United States."
Currently, Apple's closest competitor in terms of profit is Google's parent company Alphabet followed by Samsung Electronics and Microsoft. However, Alphabet leads Samsung by little and both are profiting a little below $20 billion annually. Alphabet is the closest tech company in profit to Apple.
On Fortune's Global 500 list with Apple squarely falling first for profitability, Alphabet ranks 9th. Only financial groups and institutions fill in the seven spaces in between.
Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry believes that, "We still remain in the early stages of the shift of compute to the cloud and the transition of traditional retail online and, in our opinion, the market is underestimating the long-term financial benefit of both to Amazon." Amazon is still pouring money into improving its own back-end capabilities and pushing the boundaries to find what consumers are willing to pay for its services.
Recent increases in Prime membership pricing and expansions into more hardware ventures could help put Amazon in a better position. As it becomes more economical to buy everyday goods from Amazon instead of driving to the store yourself, Amazon certainly has the potential to place a lot of other businesses at risk of becoming obsolete.
On the other hand, Apple has already established its core market and customer base. Should Apple continue to seek increasing its massive profits, Cupertino will need to find a way to fix its latest problem of being too expensive for the average consumer.