Apple has entered the history books as the first public company to be valued at $3trn.
The 47-year-old technology juggernaut, co-founded by Silicon Valley legend, the late Steve Jobs in 1966, officially closed up 2.3% at $193.97 per share at the end of trading on Friday.
This brought its market value to $3.04trn – equivalent to £2.39trn.
Apple briefly surpassed a $3trn market value on consecutive days in January 2022. However, it could not maintain that figure by the time the markets had closed.
The company’s stock plunged into a prolonged descent, with its market value dipping briefly below $2trn earlier this year, amid a slowdown in growth compounded by investor jitters over rising interest rates, impacting the entire tech sector.
Apple only approached the $3trn mark again earlier this month, when the company unveiled what it hopes will be its next big product – the Vision Pro virtual reality headset.
Microsoft is following close behind with a market value of $2.5trn.
Apple first topped $2trn in August 2021 – around two years after the California-based firm hit a milestone value of $1trn for the first time.
Jobs hailed for Apple’s stellar success
The company’s stellar success has been attributed to Jobs returning to Apple in 1997 after being forced out by then CEO John Sculley in 1985.
At the time of his comeback, Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy, prompting it to beg once-bitter rival Microsoft for a cash injection.
Now, Apple makes enough to pay $105bn in annual investor dividends and repurchases of its own stock.
And it had almost $56bn in cash at the end of the last fiscal quarter.
The iPhone, unveiled by Jobs in 2007, remains the jewel in Apple’s kingdom, accounting for more than half of the company’s almost $400bn worth of sales last year.
Other products – including the Apple Mac, iPad, Apple Watch and AirPods – also help boost the company coffers.
The firm also boasts a lucrative services arm, including its music and video streaming, together with warranty programs and fees generated from the iPhone app store.
It also receives advertising commissions paid by Google in exchange for being the iPhone default internet search engine.
While most of Apple’s innovations were created with Jobs at the helm, most of its wealth has been accumulated under the leadership of current CEO, Tim Cook.
He took control of the company just before Jobs died in October 2011, when Apple’s market value stood at $350bn.
What is $3trn actually worth?
It is a mind-boggling sum of money – but based on average sales figures during the past year, $3trn could buy almost 9 million homes in the US.
It could also buy the 50 highest-valued sports teams in the world, with change to spare.
If $3trn was distributed equally to every person in the US – which is said to have a population exceeding 336 million – each individual would pocket around $9,000.