Apple worth $2 trillion: tech giant first US company to pass market cap milestone

The Mac and iPhone maker's value passed $2 trillion market cap on Wednesday. The company, helmed by Tim Cook, has seen its stock rise 60% this year.

Apple worth $2 trillion: tech giant first US company to pass market cap milestone

Apple's market capitalisation passed the $2 trillion mark on Wednesday, with the iPhone and Mac maker becoming the first US company to break the $2 trillion barrier. The first company to go over a market cap of $2 trillion was oil giant Saudi Aramco, though it's currently fallen due to slumping demands for the black stuff.

Apple, helmed by CEO Tim Cook who took over from Steve Jobs as CEO in 2011 just before the company's founder's death, has seen its stock soar by 60% this year, with shares reaching nearly $470, enough to propel the company's market cap to a record high.

The California-based tech giant has hit the $2 trillion mark just over two years since it passed the $1 trillion market cap level.

Despite the fact the US and world economies have slumped into recession due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Apple's share price has been rising steadily since it fell in March at the start of the coronavirus crisis.

Tech stocks are seen as relatively safe holdings right now, while Apple has seen demand propelled by people needing iPhones and iPads to connect from home to work or with friends and family during Covid-19 lockdowns. Investors are also eagerly eyeing Apple's growing sales of subscription services including Apple Music, iCloud, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade.

Apple's stock has been rising 3.5% a week since the start of June, but jumped significantly on a strong earnings report in July, posting $59.7 billion in revenue, up 11% on the same quarter a year ago.

iPhone 12 coming this fall

Despite the coronavirus crisis, Apple is expected to be on course to release their new iPhone 12 this fall as expected, with some delays to the product reaching consumers hands. New iPhones are typically announced in September with the first new models reaching customers in October.  Apple has said delays are likely, meaning the new iPhone 12 may not be announced until October and they may not ship till November. However some industry insiders have said a September announcement is still on the cards, with that possibly coming as early as 8 September.

The iPhone 12 line-up is eagerly expected as it is likely to include a 5G model.

Apple stock split coming

Apple's stock will be even easier to own come the end of the month, when the company is going to split it's shares 4-for-1, meaning a single share will cost around $120, putting it within reach of smaller investors. The market cap will remain the same as there are simply four times as many shares, each at one quarter of the value prior to the split.

Apple's growth since Steve Jobs returned to the struggling Mac maker in 1997 has been one of the tech world's biggest success stories, built on the back of the iPod and then the runaway success of the iPhone that completely changed the mobile phone industry.

When Jobs rejoined Apple, Michael Dell was asked what he would do if he were in Jobs' shoes. Dell famously replied he would "shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." Apple at that point was worth just $3 billion and was saddled with debt and an uninspiring product line-up. Jobs turned things round with the hit iMac personal computer, followed by the iPod.

Apple CEO Tim Cook's soaring personal fortune.

Tim Cook, who was Chief Operating Officer under Steve Jobs and took over as CEO when ill health forced the Apple co-founder to give up the post, has seen his personal wealth soar in line with Apple's stock.

According to Bloomberg's Billionaire index, Cook's stock holdings in Apple give him a personal fortune of over a billion dollars, one of a handful of executives to hit that level of wealth not being a founder of a company.