WASHINGTON (TIP): The tech giant on Thursday, August 2, became the first public U.S.
company to reach a valuation of $1 trillion.
Amazon had been close behind Apple in the race to the one trillion mark, surpassing $900 billion
market value in July, but a strong earnings report on Tuesday pushed Apple over the mark.
Apple shares briefly touched $207.05, the mark needed to reach $1 trillion, but dropped down
shortly thereafter. Apple shares remained up 2.4 percent at $206.35 in early afternoon trading on
Other large companies are close to Apple’s valuation, but none have hit $1 trillion. Google is
currently worth around $852 billion and Facebook about $508 billion. Other well-known
companies are smaller, such as Coca-Cola at $198 billion and Ford at $39 billion.
Apple was founded in the garage of Steve Jobs in 1976 when personal computers were in their
infancy. Along with the other co-founder, Steve Wozniak, Jobs began steering the industry
toward devices that would appeal to consumers, culminating in the introduction of the iPhone in
Along the way, Apple has launched a series of products that changed the way people use
technology. It popularized the computer mouse and the graphical user interface, which is now
ubiquitous, and it altered music-listening habits with its iPod and accompanying digital music
The company almost went bankrupt in the late 1990s. It had failed to continue making popular
products after Jobs left the company in 1985 amid a dispute with the company’s then-CEO. Jobs
returned in 1997 and accepted a $150 million investment from rival Microsoft.
Jobs was featured on the cover of Time magazine, where he thanked Microsoft CEO Bill Gates
and said “the world’s a better place” after the investment.
The bulk of Apple’s revenue comes from selling hardware, particularly iPhones. As growth in
smartphones sales has begun to slow and some consumers have turned to cheaper devices from
other manufacturers, analysts had begun to question whether Apple would be able to hit $1
But recent strength from one of Apple’s smaller services business, which includes the App Store,
helped convince investors to push the company’s stock higher, said Daniel Ives, head of
technology research at GBH Insights, a market research firm.
“This is a historic milestone not just for Apple but the overall tech sector as Cook & Co. hit the
elusive trillion dollar market cap club,” Ives said, referring to Apple CEO Tim Cook. “The
services business has been the high octane fuel in Apple’s engine and got the company to this
trillion dollar valuation quicker than many had thought with a major iPhone product cycle on the
Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, a technology advisory firm,
said he was not surprised to see Apple hit the trillion mark, but noted that it has some challenges
“Apple's biggest challenge going forward is to maintain its lead,” Moorhead said. “The
smartphone market is in decline, and Apple will need to win big in brand-new markets.