Analyst says the iPad and other hot products will make Cupertino the world's biggest tech company in just two years.
Apple will surpass tech giants IBM and Hewlett-Packard in total sales by 2013, an influential analyst said.
George Colony, founder and CEO of Forrester Research, predicted that Apple would become "a $200 billion revenue company" in the next two years, in an interview with Bloomberg that the news service published Thursday.
HP posted sales of $126 billion in its most recent fiscal year, while IBM rang up revenues of $99.9 billion.
Apple's sales for its last fiscal year, ended Sept. 30 2010, were $65.2 billion. For Apple to hit the $200 billion sales mark by 2013, it would have to grow at a compound annual rate of a whopping 75.14% over the two-year period.
For the record, analysts expect Apple to record robust growth for the foreseeable future—but nowhere near what Colony is expecting.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters predict the company will post revenues of $99.94 billion in the current fiscal year, and $117.77 billion the following year. That adds up to a two-year compound annual growth rate of 34.4%—well short of Colony's expectation but still strong enough to make Steve Jobs and company the envy of most of their Silicon Valley competitors.
Colony said he is confident that blockbuster sales of the iPad, iPad 2, and iPhone would keep Cupertino on at least its current torrid growth pace—which is expected to be 53.2% in the current year. "They'll be bigger than IBM next year, and they'll be bigger than HP the year after that," Colony said.
Apple shares were up 1.84%, to $351.33, in midday trading Friday.
Server Market SplitsvilleJust because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.