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Apple becomes first US company to reach USD3T valuation

NEW YORK (AFP) – Apple became the first United States (US) company to hit USD3 trillion in market value, briefly reaching the landmark on Monday in the latest demonstration of the tech industry’s pandemic surge.

The iPhone maker scaled the record level near 1845 GMT, reaching USD182.88 a share before slipping back slightly.

The tech giant also was the first US company to hit USD2 trillion in August 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic that stoked demand for personal electronics and digital services, such as Apple’s streaming and smartphone app store.

And it likewise was the first American firm to overtake USD1 trillion in August 2018.

The surge marks the latest accomplishment for Tim Cook, who became chief executive of the Cupertino, California giant in 2011 shortly before the death of the company’s visionary co-founder, Steve Jobs.

The exterior of Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California. PHOTO: AP

While the top tier of US stock markets are dominated by Silicon Valley companies, Microsoft is the only other American company worth more than USD2 trillion.

In October, Apple reported net income of USD20.5 billion on revenue of USD83.4 billion, a record high for the quarter ending in September. The company’s fiscal 2021 revenues were USD365.8 billion, more than triple the level of a decade ago.

But as with many other tech giants, Apple has seen pressures in recent months due to supply chain problems, including a global shortage of semiconductors and Covid-related manufacturing disruptions in Southeast Asia.

Apple shares tumbled following that October earnings report, but rallied thereafter, winning nearly 20 per cent in the final two months of 2021. Some 45 years after its establishment that helped make personal computers a mainstream profit, Apple’s revenues today are mostly closely tied to the iPhone, which was first unveiled in 2007.

But increasingly smartphones are also crucial gateways to services revenue, an increasingly pivotal component of Apple’s prowess.

Revenues for services, which includes the Apple TV streaming product and the Apple Pay services have tripled over the last five years.