Apple has become the world’s first $800bn company

10 May 2017

Apple Store, Fifth Avenue, New York. Image: Michael Gordon/Shutterstock

At the current trajectory, Apple’s market cap could top $1trn later this year.

Apple has become the world’s most valuable publicly traded company by market cap after a rise in shares lifted the company’s value above $800bn for the first time.

Despite showing an unexpected decline in iPhone sales in its recently quarterly results, shares in Apple are soaring. Investors are anticipating a strong surge later this year when the next-generation iPhone arrives, most likely in September.

Shares gained 33pc this year and almost 50pc since November, closing at $153.99 last night.

Apple represents 4pc of the $21.7trn that constitutes the entire S&P 500 Index.

If it continues this upward spiral, Apple’s market cap could reach $1trn in 2017.

It could all have turned out very differently

It’s hard to believe that 20 years ago, Apple was at death’s door.

In 1997, the company was nearly bankrupt, with only weeks of credit left in its coffers.

After firing its daring, young co-founder and CEO, Steve Jobs, a number of years earlier, Apple had fallen into a number of strategic traps in a world dominated by Intel and Microsoft.

A $150m investment by Microsoft on 6 August 1997 saw the return of Jobs to the helm, setting the stage for one of the most dramatic turnarounds in corporate history.

Within a year of his return, Jobs had inspired his design team to come up with the iMac, a colourful alternative to the beige PCs of the time.

He followed this achievement with the iPod in 2001, turning the music industry inside out.

Six years later, in 2007, Jobs revealed the iPhone, rewriting the history of computing forever and pushing the smartphone market to new heights.

Now, in the 10th year of the iPhone, it will be interesting to see what tricks current CEO Tim Cook has up his sleeve.

Apple Store, Fifth Avenue, New York. Image: Michael Gordon/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years