A look at the most valuable tech companies from 10 years ago shows how much has changed — and that Microsoft and Apple still dominate

APFormer Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

  • The tech industry has evolved dramatically over the past decade as new brands have taken over.
  • Microsoft and Apple have stayed on top, but household names like Google, Amazon, and Facebook weren’t even among the top 10 companies in 2010.

  • In 2010, most of the largest firms were enterprise companies like IBM, Cisco, and Oracle, but since then, internet services and consumer-focused brands have mostly surpassed them.

In the past ten years, the tech industry has seen a great deal of change as new technologies and new companies have taken off. A decade ago, brands like Google, Amazon, and Facebook were still in their early stages of growth, while enterprise companies dominated the industry.

As 2019 comes to a close, here’s a look back at the top 10 publicly traded tech companies by market cap at the start of last decade, according to data from Morningstar Direct – and what their market caps look like today.

Source: Morningstar Direct, market cap amounts as of 12/31/2009 and 11/30/2019.

1. Microsoft was already a powerhouse at the start of the decade, but faltered as the iPhone rose in popularity. Under new CEO Satya Nadella, however, the company’s big bet on cloud computing helped it regain an edge.

Getty Images/Justin SullivanFormer Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

2010 market cap: $US268.56 billion

2019 market cap: $US1.15 trillion

2. Apple revolutionised computing when it introduced the iPhone in 2007, and sales soared with each new iteration of the phone. Over a decade later, the continued success of iPhone has kept Apple at or near the top of the industry.

David Paul Morris / GettyFormer Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs.

2010 market cap: $US190.99 billion

2019 market cap: $US1.19 trillion

3. IBM began the decade as a powerhouse in enterprise IT, but in the past decade, its growth has stalled out as companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google take the lead in cloud computing.

Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesFormer IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano

2010 market cap: $US170.87 billion

2019 market cap: $US119.07 billion

4. Cisco was also rocked this decade by the rise of cloud computing — as companies moved into clouds like Amazon’s, they needed less of Cisco’s flagship networking gear. Still, the company has largely weathered the storm.

Getty Images/Ethan MillerFormer Cisco CEO John Chambers

2010 market cap: $US137.72 billion

2019 market cap: $US192.22 billion

5. Oracle started the decade as an industry leader in providing database and other enterprise software, but its slow entry into cloud computing allowed competitors like Salesforce, Amazon, and Microsoft to get ahead.

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesOracle Chairman, CTO, and co-founder Larry Ellison

2010 market cap: $US122.93 billion

2019 market cap: $US184.28 billion

6. Hewlett-Packard started off the decade dealing with internal strife and strategic confusion. It ultimately split off into two smaller companies: Hewlett-Packard, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesFormer HP CEO Mark Hurd

2010 market cap: $US121.78 billion

2019 market cap: $US29.76 billion

7. Intel, which had long dominated the chip business for personal computers and servers, got blindsided by the rise of smartphones — leading to big opportunities for the likes of Qualcomm. Now, it’s betting big on AI.

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesFormer Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini

2010 market cap: $US112.67 billion

2019 market cap: $US252.52 billion

8. Qualcomm has thrived by making powerful chips for smartphones, and licensing its designs to other manufacturers.

David Becker/Getty ImagesFormer Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs

2010 market cap: $US77.44 billion

2019 market cap: $US95.4 billion

9. Visa, the largest credit card provider in the US, has only benefitted from the rise of online commerce and smartphone shopping.

Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty ImagesFormer Visa chairman and CEO Joseph Saunders

2010 market cap: $US60.91 billion

2019 market cap: $US410.05 billion

10. SAP entered the decade as a dominant player in enterprise IT, thanks to its flagship database products and other pieces of business software. More recently, it’s been undergoing a shift to cloud computing, with partners like Amazon and Microsoft.

Uwe Anspach/DPA/AFP via Getty ImagesFormer SAP SE CEO Bill McDermott

2010 market cap: $US56.21 billion

2019 market cap: $US167.03 billion

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