Difference Between IBM and Apple

The abbreviation “micro” was very commonly used during the 1970s and 1980s, although there is a different situation at present. A microcomputer is a small and inexpensive computer system, which uses a microprocessor as its Central Processing Unit (CPU).

During the 1970s and 1980s, increase growth of powerful microprocessors led to the growing demand of the microcomputers. These computers consist of a microprocessor, minimal input/output circuitry on a single PCB and a memory. Mainframes and Minicomputers are the predecessors of these computers, which are comparatively larger and also, expensive.

IBM and Apple are two companies that rose to fame during these times but due to all wrong reasons. It was in 1981 when Apple mockingly produced an advertisement welcoming IBM PC. This gained a lot of popularity as IBM tried pitching its PC to Apple with a Charlie Chaplinesque pitchman.

Two years after this incident took place, IBM introduced its PCjr in 1983. This gave a popular name to IBM and it kept flourishing after that. Apple was a witness to all of this. It shifted its focus to enterprise business users with the introduction of its high-end and expensive Lisa desktop computer. Since then, it has had no looking back.

Undoubtedly, Apple is worth a lot more than IBM today because of its brilliant production in the form of the iPod and the iPhone. But when it comes to corporate computing, IBM has it all.

IBM vs Apple

The main difference between IBM and Apple is that IBM is mainly involved in corporate computing, whereas, Apple is involved in manufacturing consumer products. Apple is known for developing only higher-end and expensive products, while that’s not the case of IBM.

IBM vs Apple

Comparison Table Between IBM and Apple

Parameter of ComparisonIBMApple
LaunchIBM was first launched as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company on June 16, 1911. Apple was first launched as Apple Computer Company on April 1, 1976.
Founders It was founded by Charles Ranlett Flint. It was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne.
FocusIt focuses on corporate computing and also big enterprises. While it focuses on delivering consumer products and also enterprise business.
Area ServedIt serves around 177 countries of the world. It serves worldwide.
ServicesIt offers Outsourcing, Professional and Managed Services. It has a huge list of services to offer like the App Store, iCloud, iMessage, iTunes Store etc.
No.of Employees It has near to 4 lakhs employees at present. Whereas, it has about 150,000 employees at present.
Net Income It has a comparatively lower net income. It is one of the most successful companies in the world and has a very high net income.

What is IBM?

IBM, otherwise known as the International Business Machines Corporation, is an American multinational consulting and technology company. It is headquartered in Armonk, New York, USA. Initially, it was the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company when it was founded in 1911 by Charles Ranlett Flint.

Sometimes referred to as Big Blue, IBM has its branches spread over 177 countries in the world. It comprises of one of the largest numbers of employees in the world; near to 4 lakh employees at present. The employees have been awarded five Nobel Prizes, six Turing Awards and many more to name.

IBM mainly deals with corporate computing. It is involved in manufacturing and selling computer hardware, software and middleware. It also provides hosting and consulting services in the areas of mainframe computers to nanotechnology. Some of its inventions include the hard disk drive, the floppy disk, the SQL programming language etc.

In 1981, IBM developed its first commercial personal computer which came to be known as the IBM PC. The PC used an Intel 16-bit, 4.77 MHz microprocessor and a disk operating system supplied by the Microsoft Corporation.

Moreover, IBM also went on to experiment with the radiation-induced soft fails in LSI electronics over a time period of fifteen years. The evaluation was based on concentrating on major scientific and technical advances over the years.

What is Apple?

Apple Inc. Or Apple is an American multinational technology company. It is headquartered in Cupertino, California, USA. It was formerly founded as the Apple Computer Company by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in 1976.

The company is now spread over all countries of the world with around 510 Retail Stores as of 2020. With about 150,000 employees, the company manufactures several products including Apple Watch, Apple TV, iPhone, iPod, iPad, Life, HomePod, Macintosh, Siri and many more.

Apple is involved in enterprise business as well as consumer products. It deals with developing and selling computer software, consumer electronics, and online services. It offers services such as App Store, iCloud, Apple Books etc. It is considered as the world’s largest technology company in terms of revenue.

Apple I was the first personal computer produced by one of Apple’s founder; Steve Wozniak. It was not until January 1977, that the sales of Apple I and Apple II picked up a pace.

Even after being one of the leading company in the world, Apple Inc. faces issues just like any other company. The diversity and organisation of the company help to address any issues that may arise.

Main Differences Between IBM and Apple

  1. IBM deals mainly with corporate computing, while Apple deals with consumer products.
  2. Apple serves worldwide but IBM serves 177 countries.
  3. IBM has more number of employees than Apple.
  4. Apple has a larger number of services to offer.
  5. The net income of Apple Inc. is comparatively higher.


IBM and Apple can be termed as the yin and the yang of high-tech invention. The two companies have a lot more in common than general. Although they cater to different markets, they often utilise similar strategies.

The difference is observed in their approach to research. IBM has laboratories established around the world, invests on research on a yearly basis and generates several patents. Apple, on the other hand, focuses on product invention, rather than the scientific invention.

Both these companies have a popular stand in the current market. Always being head to head competitors of each other, they continue to deliver excellent products to the market.



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Editorial Staff at Ask Any Difference is a team of experts in the field of "Difference Between" topics and led by Sandeep Bhandari, Piyush Yadav and Chara Yadav. Trusted by over 1.5 million readers worldwide
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