Apple, Most Valuable Company Ever

22 Aug, 2012

Soft tech stocks like Facebook and Groupon may be struggling, but the guys that make the hardware are doing alright. iPhone 5 rumors propelled Apple’s valuation to $623 billion today, making it the most valuable company in history by market capitalization.

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBaseFor some perspective, $623 billion is higher than the GDP of countries such as Switzerland, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.

Chief rival Microsoft set the previous records during the height of tech book, reaching $616.3 billion in 1999. It’s important to note, however, that Apple’s triumph is based on modern numbers alone – adjusted for inflation, Microsoft still holds the crown.

 Apple spent most of 1999 somewhere between $10-$20. It was a time before the iPod, iPhone, iPad, or any of the array of personal, portable electronics that changed society’s basic relationship with computers, information, and design. The techno-savvy may have listened to music on minidisk players.

Since Apple released the iPod in 2001, it grew steadily at first, and then explosively. The iPhone, the iPad, and the growing ubiquity of the Macbook propelled massive gains starting in 2007. Apple became the world’s most valuable company since last year, when it edged out Exxon Mobil.  As contributor Tim Worstall notes, the iPhone alone is probably worth more than all of Microsoft.

The AP points out that the title of most valuable company in history might actually go to the oil company Petrochina, which reached $1 trillion on the Shanghai stock exchange – though that exchange is isolated from the rest of the world. Petrochina’s prices in Hong Kong and New York put it under $500 billion.

Some analysts are expecting the company to just keep growing – according to the Wall Street Journal, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek put the price target as high as $900 For Apple to reach $1 trillion, it would need a stock price of $1,072.  Between the iPhone 5 and rumors of a new iPad mini, nobody can be sure.

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1 Comment

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