Apple's cell phone unit volume has passed that of Research in Motion to take the fourth slot in cell phone unit sales worldwide. Advances in Apple's performance metrics haven't been confined to growing phone share.
Apple, which earlier this year passed Microsoft in market capitalization, just passed Microsoft in revenue in the third calendar quarter of 2010. With Microsoft failing to pull developers onto its new mobile phone platform, Microsoft won't be catching up with revenues from phone operating system licensing. The gross revenue number isn't identical to profitability, but it's an important metric with which to gauge the companies' ability to attract customers' funds. It's a relevance-ometer. Apple's revenues have been growing briskly in recent years, and its ongoing product rollouts in its many markets offer grounds to expect continued growth in the immediate future.
Apple's high-growth trajectory has taken it into an area few would have predicted only a few years ago. The company remains a volatile holding, but its absolute performance and its growth suggest that its share price is backed by a real and growing relevance in the markets in which it competes. Apple is unquestionably a quality provider in its relevant markets, and it markets for profit rather than window-dressing metrics such as profitless unit share (remember the beige-box races for the top slot in PC sales?). Apple isn't squandering precious resources chasing phantoms, it's building and innovating and creating a future for itself and its customers.