Apple has now become the world’s largest company…ever.
On Monday, Apple shares closed at $665.15 on Wall Street taking the company’s worth to $623.52 billion in terms of market capitalization. In nominal terms, Apple edged out Microsoft’s $616.34 billion from 1999 just before the IT and dot-com bubble burst to become the biggest company in terms of valuation of all times.
Apple’s record market capitalization not only beats Microsoft’s all time high from 1999 but it is currently 53% more than Exxon Mobil, the 2nd largest company in terms of market cap. Here is an interesting infographic that will tell you just how big Apple is [Here is an update to it]!
The nearly $218 billion gap between Apple and Exxon Mobil is almost as big as IBM’s total market value. Although Microsoft can still boast of the highest market value if its peak levels from 1999 are accounted for inflation, its current market cap is less than half of Apple’s.
Apple was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. Wozniak hand built Apple’s first computer, Apple I. To fund the project Steve Jobs is believed to have sold his van for a few hundred dollars and Wozniak, his calculator which at that time, cost $500. Fast forward to 2012, Apple has quite a few pioneering and iconic products in its kitty.
Apple launched the iPod in 2001 which turned out be the music player everyone wanted. The initially launched iPod Classic later evolved into iPod nano, iPod shuffle and iPod touch. By October 2011, the company sold more than 300 million iPods worldwide, reported PC Magazine.
Apple’s line of desktops and laptops include iMac, Mac Pro, Mac mini, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air which when launched, was the world’s thinnest notebook computer. Hardcore mac fans are known to refuse to work on any other platforms and often look down upon the PC to be an inferior machine.
Steve Jobs revealed the much awaited iPhone in 2007 which took the world by storm. Since its release, Apple launched the fifth generation iPhone 4S in October 2011. PC Magazine reported that American telecommunications giant AT&T alone activated 4.3 million of iPhone’s latest version in the first 3 months of 2012. That is a staggering figure of nearly 15 lakh units in average every month from just one service provider in one country.
In 2010 Apple revealed its tablet called iPad and sold 3 lakh pieces on the first day. Its second generation model iPad 2 was launched in early 2011 and analysts estimated that Apple effortlessly sold more than 10 lakh units in the very first weekend of its launch. Early this year in April, Apple unveiled iPad’s third generation model, the iPad 3. The company announced that it had sold more than 30 lakh units in the first 3 days of its launch.
Apple also has a range of iconic software products including iTunes, a range of accessories for its own products, a thriving online App Store and Apple TV among a host of other technological innovations encapsulating its product line.
While some commentators are sticking to the age old saying of ‘What goes up must come down’, experts are leaning to believe that Apple’s journey is not over yet. The Wall Street Journal reported that analysts are expecting Apple’s share price to go beyond $1,000 per share, which is about 50% more than its current levels.
After the death of Apple’s iconic founder Steve Jobs in October 2011, there was a lot of speculation that the company’s shares would take a nose dive. There was a section of experts and commentators who believed that the absence of Steve Jobs would make the company incapable of innovating and progressing forward.
Trumping speculation and rumours, Apple’s shares have surged nearly 64% in 2012.
The demand for Apple products remains strong. In an unprecedented and almost cult like following, people queue up in the thousands outside Apple stores to be the first ones to get their hands on the latest iPads and iPhones.
IT gurus, industry experts, market analysts, commentators and the everyday techie, all appear to have a general consensus that as long as Apple keeps innovating, all is well.