Following its latest investors’ report, Apple has become the first company in US history to be valued at more than one trillion dollars.
There has long been speculation when this would happen and most analysts believed it was only a matter of time. But this historic event was in complete contrast to a period 22 years ago when if you’d asked if either Donald Trump could be president or Apple could become the monolith it now is would have both been treated with scorn.
In 1996 Apple’s stock was trading for less than a dollar and the company was teetering on the brink when Steve Jobs famously declared that Apple was 90 days away from bankruptcy.
This didn’t happen, instead they brought back Steve Jobs for a second time in what was described by author Ken Segall, who helped come up with Apple’s ‘Think Different’ campaign, as a shot of adrenaline for the firm.
Steve had a kind of elitist point of view. He didn’t care what people wanted and had no desire to any kind of research. He wanted Apple to dream up things people couldn’t imagine.- Ken Segall: author and advertising copywriter
The saving grace was the move away from personal computers and towards the fledging mobile market. From 2001 to 2010 saw an incredibly creative period for the company when Apple launched the iPod, iTunes, the iPad and the App Store as well as the ubiquitous iPhone.
These developments led not only to people changing the nature of the devices they owned but how they shopped, communicated with others, listened to music and consumed media. In all Apple produced a revolution in communications that we now take for granted.
It is interesting to note that since Tim Cook took-over as CEO Apple has not produced anything like the innovative products previously seen and yet under his stewardship the company’s valuation has risen from $624 billion to today’s mind boggling one trillion.
Under his rule Apple has concentrated more on increasing the value of products rather than volume sales. For instance, the iPhone X has seen a fall in the numbers of phones sold, but the higher price has seen Apple increase sales and profits.
For some investors the money was on Amazon becoming the first trillion-dollar company, so it was a little surprising to see Apple beat them to it. But it won’t be long before Apple are joined by Amazon as well as Google and Microsoft.
All have had extremely good financial years and they are within a whisper of becoming as big as Apple.
Likewise, some analysts have targeted Apple shares at $275, which would mean a total valuation of $1.3 trillion. To put this in perspective, Apple could lose one trillion dollars in value and still be worth more than double of IBM.
Image: Marcin Wichary