When Apple reported its fourth quarter earnings on Tuesday, the company made history. Over the past 12 month, the Cupertino-based maker of the iPhone recorded a net profit of $53.4 billion, more than any other company in corporate history had made in a single year. The previous record of $45.2 billion was set by ExxonMobil in 2008, when tech companies such as Apple could only dream of matching the profits of big oil corporations.
Apple's growth over the past decade, largely fueled by the blockbuster success of the iPhone, has been truly remarkable. As our chart illustrates, the company’s profits have increased more than 40-fold since 2005, helping Apple to become the biggest brand and the most valuable company on the planet.