Apple climbed into the top 20 on Fortune’s just released Fortune 500 list for 2012 to take the number 17 spot. The list ranks the largest corporations in the United States, and this year’s roundup marks a big improvement for Apple compared to last year’s position at 35.
The top five spots in this year’s Fortune 500 list include Exxon Mobil, Wal-Mart Stores, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and General Motors. HP and AT&T tool the number 10 and 11 spots, while IBM came in behind Apple at 19.
HP topped Apple in Fortune’s industry grouping, too, coming in first place. Apple took second place, followed by Dell, Xerox and NCR.
Apple’s strong growth came in part thanks to strong iPhone and iPad sales. While other computer makers have watched their growth rate declining, Apple’s Mac sales have been steadily increasing, too.
The company broke its own records again with its second fiscal quarter earnings report. Apple posted revenue at US$39.2 billion and earnings of $11.6 billion. CEO Tim Cook said the company sold over 35 million iPhones and nearly 12 million iPads during the quarter.
Other companies on this year’s Fortune 500 list included Microsoft at 37, Dell at 44, Intel at 51, and Google at 73.