Apple today became the first $1 trillion publicly listed US company. It crowns a decade-long rise fueled by its ubiquitous iPhone that transformed it from a niche player in personal computers into a global powerhouse spanning entertainment and communications.
The company’s stock jumped 2.8% to as high as $207.05, reports Reuters, bringing its gain to about 9% since Tuesday when it reported June-quarter results above expectations and said it had bought back $20bn of its own shares.
Apple’s stock market value is greater than the combined capitalisation of Exxon Mobil, Procter & Gamble, and AT&T. It now accounts for 4% of the S&P 500.
Its stock has surged more than 50,000% since its 1980 initial public offering, dwarfing the S&P 500’s approximately 2,000% increase during the same almost four decades. Already though, commentators are setting their sights on $2 trillion.
Financial returns are simply the result of Apple’s innovation, putting our products and customers first, and always staying true to our values – Tim Cook.
Started in the garage of co-founder Steve Jobs in 1976, Apple has pushed its revenue beyond the economic outputs of Portugal, New Zealand and other countries. Along the way, it has changed how consumers connect with one another and how businesses conduct daily commerce.
Jobs was driven out of Apple in the mid-1980s, only to return a decade later and rescue the computer company from near bankruptcy. He launched the iPhone in 2007, dropping ‘Computer’ from Apple’s name and super-charging the mobile phone industry.
After Jobs died in 2011 he was succeeded as chief executive by Tim Cook, who has doubled the company’s profits. But while the services element of Apple’s business is booming, helping to achive its trillion dollar status, he has been criticised by some for not developing a new product to replicate the society-altering success of the iPhone.
“To me, in its soul Apple is a company that makes products – the amalgamation of hardware and software – and it will rise or fall based on its competency in those areas,” commented Jason Snell at Six Colors earlier this week.
“Apple needs to keep growing services revenue because this is the world we live in. You’ve got to play that game, and if you had told me a decade ago how well Apple would seem to be doing at it, I wouldn’t have believed you.
“But services revenue is the add-on, not the core. Let’s never forget that – and hope Apple never does either.”
In a memo to Apple employees, published by Buzzfeed this evening, Cook wrote: “While we have much to be proud of in this achievement, it’s not the most important measure of our success.
“Financial returns are simply the result of Apple’s innovation, putting our products and customers first, and always staying true to our values.”
Picture: Apple Piazza Liberty opened in Milan this week (picture courtesy of Apple).