CNN, Others Blasted Over Equating Apple’s Worth to That of Poland’s

Apple is worth more than the entire nation of Poland? Yes, that’s a headline you may have read on CNN and elsewhere around the web this week as media outlets picked up on a morsel of “news” and ran with it unabated.

With Apple’s market cap now sitting at $500 billion, grand comparisons have been made in order to illustrate just how valuable the iPhone maker really is.

One round of reports has stressed that “Apple is now worth more than Poland.” According to the U.K. Register:

Following an email announcing the iPad 3 launch, Apple’s share value hit an unprecedented $500bn in pre-marketing trading this morning, making the company worth more than Poland and many other things.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, that comparison is absurd.

“$500 billion is Apple’s market cap, the entire value of all its parts as judged by the market,” explains Joe Weisenthal of SAI. “True, that’s bigger than the GDP of Poland, but it’s a false equivalence, because the GDP is just one year’s worth of national output for the country.”

Apple’s “GDP,” Weisenthal counters, might be its annual sales. In 2011, sales come to $127 billion. That’s a whole lot less than Poland’s GDP.

Regardless of the grandiose comparisons and analogies being bandied about the media, suffice it to say that Apple is the most valuable company in the world and it will probably remain so for quite some time.