In brief: Big Tech, if you haven’t noticed, is having a monster year. Five of the top US-based tech companies – Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft – have reported nearly $1.2 trillion in combined revenue thus far in 2021.
According to The New York Times, that’s more than 25 percent higher than the same period last year when the pandemic started to ramp up and is equivalent to nearly five percent of the US gross domestic product.
Amazon in its most recent earnings report said it generated $108.5 billion in sales during the three-month period ending March 31. Apple recorded record revenue of $89.6 billion and Facebook raked in $26.2 billion. Microsoft recently posted its biggest quarterly increase since 2018.
As The Times correctly highlights, America’s tech superpowers aren’t necessarily making big bank despite the pandemic, but have grown strong because of it. When stay-at-home orders kicked in, millions turned to tech to work and learn remotely. And recent stimulus checks have put more money in people’s pockets, some of which has undoubtedly been used to fund new tech purchases.
Tech companies have also taken time during the pandemic to trim excess fat from their budgets, making them “lean, mean and ready for a US economy expected to roar back to life in 2021.” How long they’ll be able to sustain this momentum, however, remains unclear. The only certainty is that nothing is certain.