• Comparisons to Apple's Net Worth 'Getting Out of Hand'

    In recent days, as Apple's surging stock price has helped drive the company's market cap to an astounding half-trillion dollars, some lofty comparisons have been made in order to convey just how valuable the company has actually become.

    Just this week, in fact, CNN and others have reported things like "Apple now worth more than Poland" - that is, the European nation of Poland is now worth less than the iPhone maker. Here's how the U.K. Register put it:

    Following an email announcing the iPad 3 launch, Apple’s share value hit an unprecedented $500bn in pre-marketing trading this morning, making the company worth more than Poland and many other things.
    The only problem with that argument... is that it's false.

    "$500 billion is Apple's market cap, the entire value of all its parts as judged by the market," explains Joe Weisenthal of SAI. "True, that's bigger than the GDP of Poland, but it's a false equivalence, because the GDP is just one year's worth of national output for the country."

    A better measure of Apple's "GDP," he says, might be its annual sales. In 2011, that was $127 billion - much less than Poland's GDP. Of course, if you still want to place Apple's value on pace with that of an entire country, let's go with Qatar, which has a GDP roughly comparable to Apple's annual receipts.

    But Poland? No.

    Sources: Forbes, SIA
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