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Apple jumps from fifth to third in 2016 Fortune 500 list

Despite recent setbacks Apple nevertheless climbed from fifth to third place in this year's Fortune 500, ranking major U.S. corporations based on their gross revenues.

Apple managed over $233.7 billion for the 2016 list — published on Monday — versus just under $182.8 billion in 2015. The company displaced Chevron, which fell out of the top 10, while remaining behind big-box retailer Walmart and oil giant Exxon Mobil. Totaling over $482.1 billion, Walmart's revenues were nearly twice those of Exxon.

Apple was well ahead of its rivals in the technology industry however, and in fact the only other high-tech firm in the top 10 was AT&T — sitting in 10th place with about $146.8 billion.

Fortune commented that while Apple is the world's most profitable publicly-traded company, it "finally appeared to hit a wall" in 2015, as iPad sales continued to slide and its latest iPhones "barely outsold" the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The business magazine also pointed to "modest" Apple Watch sales, and problems in Asia towards the end of the year.

The company's immediate hopes are said to lay with next-generation iPhones and a focus on its relatively untapped Indian market. In the longer term, though, Fortune pointed to Project Titan, which it described as an "effort to leapfrog the automobile market with an electric masterpiece." Apple typically isn't expected to ship a car until at least 2019 or 2020.