Apple becomes the world’s first trillion-dollar company

Posted August 03, 2018

Stock market veterans note that the first trillion-dollar public company - if only briefly - appears to have been PetroChina Co.

By past year, its sales had grown more than 11-fold to $229 billion - the fourth highest in the S&P 500 - and net income had mushroomed at twice that rate to $48.4 billion, making it the most profitable publicly-listed US company.

Steve Jobs and a few other people created Apple 42 years ago in Cupertino, California. It could cement customer loyalty to these brands, enhancing a perception of quality.

Its shares then hit a record high of $207.05, crowning a decade-long rise fueled by the ubiquitous iPhone that transformed it from a niche player in personal computers into a global powerhouse spanning entertainment and communications.

Since its inception, the company has launched 18 different iPhones with over 1.2 billion devices sold. The company's various services such as Apple Music, iCloud and Apple Pay now represent $9.6 billion in revenue.

In fact, Amazon, Alphabet, and Microsoft could soon be joining Apple over the $1 trillion threshold - currently, they're worth $886 billion, $844 billion, and $825 billion respectively. Part of Apple's success is due to its increased profit margins thanks to the higher average selling price of its newest smartphone, the iPhone X. The online sales company now has a market value of $880 billion dollars. Apple is nearly worth more than Mexico's 2017 gross domestic product which was estimated at $1.142 trillion.

UPDATE: Aug. 2, 2018, 11:52 a.m. EDT Apple is officially the first company to hit $1 trillion market cap, according to CNBC.

Speaking to Bloomberg's Emily Chang in the past, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly said that "I don't really think about [hitting $1 trillion]..." Thirteen analysts have a price target of above $225 for Apple. But it might not have happened if he hadn't evolved into a more mature leader after his exit from the company in 1985.