updated 06:15 pm EDT, Mon May 7, 2012
iPad maker now number 17 despite huge sales
Fortune Magazine released its annual Fortune 500 list of America's largest corporations, and Apple has zoomed up the list to the number 17 slot. The new ranking is a sizable improvement over its 35th -place ranking last year, but the iPad maker still ranks second in technology, behind Hewlett-Packard.
Last year, Apple rode runaway sales of its iPhone and iPad to become the most valuable company in the world, boosting its earnings by 85 percent to $25.9 billion. Sales for the iPad and iPhone totaled $67 billion in 2011, more than twice the sales for 2010. On the whole, Fortune pegged profit growth for the technology sector at three percent, marking Apple's earnings as a "giant" contribution to growth in the industry.
Apple looks likely to continue its successes going forward, with remarkable sales already for the newest iPad and anticipation still high for a refresh of its iPhone line later this year, as well as a possible lower-cost refresh of its MacBook Air line and persistent rumors of an Apple-branded television. All these, along with CEO Tim Cook's performance so far, boosted Fortune's estimation of the company's fortunes going forward. Topping the list this year was Exxon Mobil, followed by Walmart Stores and Chevron.