Apple shares have been on a roll for the past few years: up approximately 50% within the last year, 265% over the three previous years and 8,000% in the past 10 years. To put the gain into perspective, in July of 2002, Apple stock traded for around $7 per share. Had you invested $10,000 you could have bought roughly 1,429 Apple shares. If you held onto those shares, they would be worth over $894,000 today.

Apple has come a long way and revolutionized several industries over the past decade: iTunes changed the music industry, the iPhone has transformed the telecom sector and the iPad has created an entirely new market. The company is on a roll and with the tablet market barely penetrated and a potential Apple television in the future, Apple's stock could have even further gains ahead.

One issue that arises in purchasing stock in the company is that Apple's stock is no longer $7. As of closing on August 13, 2012, Apple traded at $626. The stock is no longer cheap and investing $10,000 will only allow you to buy about 15 shares. The solution: invest in Apple suppliers. Below are a few companies that should profit off of the success of Apple and may be a more viable investing option for many.

SEE: Steve Jobs And The Apple Story

Founded by MIT professors, the company provides backend infrastructure service and software for several big customers, such as the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission, Toyota Motors, the NFL and Morgan Stanley, to name only a few. Akamai launched in April 1999 and since has become a dominant force in the industry. Akamai states on their website "if you've ever shopped online, downloaded music, watched a web video or connected to work remotely, you've probably used Akamai's cloud platform."

Akamai provides Apple with infrastructure support for content delivery, QuickTime Streaming Operations and software downloads for Apple's website. Apple, having foreseen Akamai becoming such a vital partner back in 1999, invested $12.5 million dollars for a roughly 5% stake in Akamai. Steve Jobs was quoted as saying "Together, Apple and Akamai will deliver the highest quality and easiest to use Internet streaming video content available."

Akamai shares currently trade around $35. Returns over the past 10 years have been over 3,100%, roughly 76% in three years and around 21% in the past year. If you're looking for an affordable investment with direct relationship to Apple, Akamai may be an excellent opportunity.

SEE: Why Does Apple Go Down After WWDC?

With a market cap over $100 billion, Qualcomm is a major supplier in the technology industry. The company provides Apple with processor chips for products like the iPhone and iPad. A report published by Forbes states Qualcomm makes approximately $23.54 off each iPhone 4S sold. With 26 million iPhones sold in Apple's recent Q3 earnings, Qualcomm racked in over $612 million dollars in just three months, from only one product.

The new iPhone is also set to be released later this year and despite 26 million iPhones still being sold, many are waiting for the newest Apple gadget to be released before upgrading. Rumors have circulated that Qualcomm will supply the iPhone 5 with a 28 nanometer chip, so Qualcomm is sure to reap the rewards if Apple's iPhone 5 dominates the market. Historically, the top selling quarter for the iPhone is directly after the newest version has been released. In Q1 and Q2, after the release of the iPhone 4S, Apple sold roughly 72 million phones.

With a one-year return around 8%, beating the approximate 6% of the S&P 500, Qualcomm is fairly priced at just under $60 a share. This may be a great chance to cash in on some of Apple's success. Qualcomm has returned over 350% in the past 10 years and around 27% in the past three years.

SEE: A Primer On Investing In The Tech Industry

Skyworks Solutions
Headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts, Skyworks Solutions was founded in 1962 and provides semiconductors for a wide range of devices. Apple is the largest purchaser of semiconductors, purchasing roughly $24 billion in 2011, nearly $10 billion more in semiconductors than Samsung Electronics, who falls in second place at over $14 billion.

In 2012, Apple is expected to buy around $28 billion in semiconductors, a growth of roughly 15%. Skyworks should benefit from this increase as it supplies Apple with products for the iPhone and iPad.

Trading around $28 per share, Skyworks has returned over 715% in 10 years; 2011 returns were up nearly 10% and up roughly 260% over the past five years.

The Bottom Line
If you believe in Apple's future, then the companies above may be a great way to indirectly invest in the company at a lower price point. Keep in mind that the companies mentioned deal with many other large corporations - some even supply Apple's competitors, as well. So even if Apple continues to grow market share, there is still a possibility the above firms may not benefit. Buying shares in these companies can not only be a way to invest in Apple, but to diversify your risk from investing in just one company. If you believe in the growth of the entire smartphone and tablet market, the above companies may be a great way to benefit from the expansion of the whole industry.

Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    How an Internet Sales Tax Will Affect Your Small Business

    Learn about how the Marketplace Fairness Act may impact small business owners should it pass in the House and what the act requires from business owners.
  2. Savings

    Craft Beer Clubs – Bargain or Not?

    If you're an aficionado of artisanal brews (or would like to be), a beer club can be a palate-pleasing, albeit pricey, way to expand your hops horizon.
  3. Stock Analysis

    When Will Dick's Sporting Goods Bounce Back? (DKS)

    Is DKS a bargain here?
  4. Stock Analysis

    Has Urban Outfitters Lost its Way? (URBN)

    Urban Outfitters just made a bold move. Will it pay off?
  5. Stock Analysis

    Is Walmart's Rally Sustainable? (WMT)

    Walmart is enjoying a short-term rally. Is it sustainable? Is Amazon still a better bet?
  6. Savings

    Are Wine Clubs Worth It?

    Some points to consider, before committing to a membership for yourself – or as a gift. The right club can also help you save money over the holidays.
  7. Stock Analysis

    Kohl's: Should You Stock Up or Sell? (KSS)

    Many traders are bearish on Kohl's, but long-term investors might want to take a closer look for this simple reason.
  8. Stock Analysis

    GoPro's Stock: Can it Fall Much Further? (GPRO)

    As a company that primarily sells discretionary products, GoPro and its potential falls right in line with consumer trends. Is that good or bad?
  9. Stock Analysis

    How Macy's Will Refresh its Brand

    Macy's is heading in the wrong direction, but what's the potential for a turnaround?
  10. Stock Analysis

    Nordstrom: Is it a Buy or Should You Avoid Now?

    Consumer trends are going to change over the next year or so. How will this impact Nordstrom? Will it adjust in time?
  1. Where can you buy NetSpend reload packs?

    You can only purchase NetSpend reload packs at Giant Eagle, Albertsons, Roundy's and Pathmark supermarkets. NetSpend cards ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What does marginal utility tell us about consumer choice?

    In microeconomics, utility represents a way to relate the amount of goods consumed to the amount of happiness or satisfaction ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What role does the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) play in the finished product?

    Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) do not typically play much of direct role in determining the finished product. However, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and a VAR ...

    An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company that manufactures a basic product or a component product, such as a ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Is the retail sector also affected by seasonal factors?

    Generally speaking, the retail sector is highly seasonal. Almost invariably, sales in the retail sector are highest in the ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  2. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  3. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  4. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  5. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  6. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
Trading Center