Last year, Apple sold more than 280 million iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers to customers around the world. And judging by the tech giant’s ever climbing stock price, the sales tally for 2018 appears to be going strong as well. In fact, last week the price of an Apple share climbed above $207. Besides being good news for investors, reaching this milestone meant that Apple became the first publicly traded company to achieve a market capitalization above $1 trillion.
To put this historic valuation into context, the iPhone maker is now worth more than the 111 companies who comprise the bottom portion of the S&P 500. And that group isn’t made up of a bunch of obscure organizations: it includes major brands like Macy’s, Xerox and Viacom along with dozens of other recognizable names. Apple is also more valuable than all of the world’s automakers combined and even exceeds the combined value of the entire American media industry.
Few would have thought the company could reach such heights when it launched in the late 1970s. While Apple grew into one of the biggest computer brands within a decade, it struggled following the board’s ousting of founder Steve Jobs in 1985. Once they brought back Jobs in the late 1990s, though, the company embarked on a run of success that is perhaps unmatched in the business world. First there was the iPod, a revolutionary music player that sold in the millions upon millions. Then came the iPhone, which arguably changed human communication as we know it. The iPad and Apple Watch followed soon after, which pushed the principles the company developed with the iPhone even further. Now many people are waiting to find out what the company has planned next. “It’s been one of the most miraculous corporate turnarounds in business history,” said technology analyst Tim Bajarin. “The question going forward is: Can Apple continue to innovate?”
- How did Apple grow to become such a valuable company?
- Do you think Apple will continue to develop products as unique and innovative as the iPhone? Why or why not?
Sources: Jack Nicas, “Apple Is Worth $1,000,000,000,000. Two Decades Ago, It Was Almost Bankrupt,” The New York Times, August 2, 2018; Jon Huang, Karl Russell and Jack Nicas, “Apple’s Value Hit $1 Trillion. Add Disney to Bank of America and…You’re Halfway There,” The New York Times, August 2, 2018.