If the pandemic had never happened, the tech industry’s clout likely would have risen over the past year. But the economic effects of Covid-19 have catapulted the tech titans to heights few might have imagined possible a year ago.
The past week of quarterly financial results from Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. , Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc., and Google-parent Alphabet Inc. put that dominance on vivid display. Each of these companies—already juggernauts pre-pandemic—recorded revenue growth near or above its fastest pace in years.
The quintet set records for sales and profits. Revenue at Apple, the world’s most highly valued company, jumped 54% to the highest level it’s ever hit for the first three months of the year. Amazon logged its fourth straight record quarterly profit—a stretch when its total earnings exceeded those of the previous three years combined.
“Over a year into the pandemic, digital adoption curves aren’t slowing down. They’re accelerating,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft, whose revenue rose 19% in the latest quarter.
The stock market gives a glimpse of just how enormous these companies have become in this extraordinary period: Combined market value for the five Big Tech companies is now over $8 trillion, accounting for nearly a quarter of the total value of the companies in the S&P 500. That is nearly double the percentage five years ago.