Apple becomes first USA trillion dollar company

Why Apple is inches away from $1 trillion valuation

Apple Inc AAPL.O on Thursday became the first $1 trillion publicly listed USA company, crowning a decade-long rise fueled by its ubiquitous iPhone that transformed it from a niche player in personal computers into a global powerhouse spanning entertainment and communications.

The peak reached Thursday seemed unimaginable in 1997 when Apple teetered on the edge of bankruptcy, with its stock trading for less than $1.

The company's fortunes were turbocharged by the launch of personal gadgets such as the iPod in 2001 and the iPhone in 2007.

The race to a $1 trillion market cap - symbolic as it is - has been closely watched on Wall Street. It's since fallen slightly, but not enough to knock Apple back down into the billions. Under CEO Tim Cook, Apple also has embraced the internet, with its thriving services business helping propel the company toward the new milestone.

Independent technology analyst Rob Enderle said Apple's trillion-dollar valuation defied financial trends in recent quarters and potential defeat in a legal battle with Qualcomm over mobile chips.

The trillion-dollar ceiling has been broken.

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The symbolic stock market accomplishment is a "natural result" given Apple's winning steps, and is "certainly not the finish line", Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi reasoned in an AFP interview.

Today's chart shows this milestone - as well as numerous ones before it - through a period of over 200 years of US market history.

Apple is the world's most popular tech brand out there, no-brainer.

Apple has managed to shine despite bruises to its image that included being accused of keeping young people addicted to smartphones, slowing performance of older iPhones to motivate upgrades and sidestepping taxes by nestling cash in offshore havens. This is just the beginning of a new chapter for the company - one in which it will have to choose its priorities more carefully now than ever. Here's one: today, Apple became the first United States company to surpass a total market capitalization of $1 trillion (trillion as in a thousand billions).

And in 5 years maybe Canada will be worth less than the company that sold you your phone. Amazon had the second-largest USA market cap as of Wednesday, at roughly $872.5 billion.

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