Ap­ple makes his­tory as value climbs to $2 tril­lion

Two years af­ter cross­ing the one tril­lion thresh­old, shares in iPhone maker reach an all-time high

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By James Tit­comb in San Fran­cisco

AP­PLE be­came the first $2tril­lion US com­pany in a land­mark mo­ment af­ter a stock mar­ket boom that has made tech com­pa­nies more valu­able than ever, de­spite the eco­nomic havoc wreaked by Covid-19.

Shares in the iPhone maker crossed $467.77 yes­ter­day, an all-time high that lifted its mar­ket value above $2tril­lion. The mile­stone comes just two years af­ter Ap­ple be­came the first pub­licly traded com­pany to cross the $1tril­lion thresh­old. Shares closed be­low $2tril­lion as mar­kets sub­sided.

Its value passed the Saudi oil ti­tan Aramco last month, which went pub­lic last year and briefly hit the $2tril­lion mark. Aramco shares have since dropped, leav­ing Ap­ple as the world’s most valu­able listed busi­ness.

Ap­ple shares have risen by more than 50pc this year alone, and have dou­bled since a trough in March. The surge has been fu­elled by a boom in dig­i­tal ser­vices as lock­downs sent cus­tomers rush­ing on­line to shop, work and en­ter­tain them­selves. The four other big­gest US tech com­pa­nies – Ama­zon, Mi­crosoft, Face­book and Google’s par­ent firm Al­pha­bet – have all surged to record highs dur­ing the cri­sis. They now make up al­most a quar­ter of the to­tal value of the S&P 500, the col­lec­tion of blue-chip Amer­i­can stocks, higher than the con­cen­tra­tion reached dur­ing the dot­com bub­ble.

Ap­ple shares have risen partly on op­ti­mism about the forth­com­ing launch of the new iPhone, ex­pected to be the first fea­tur­ing 5G tech­nol­ogy.

Sales of the com­pany’s other de­vices such as MacBooks and iPads have also im­proved in the pan­demic as work­ers and fam­i­lies have spent more time on the in­ter­net. Last month, Ap­ple said sales rose by 11pc be­tween April and June, de­spite many stores be­ing closed.

Much of the rise in Ap­ple’s value has been at­trib­uted to the growth of the com­pany’s ser­vices busi­ness, such as Ap­ple Mu­sic, iCloud and the App Store.

The firm is about to launch a sub­scrip­tion push by bundling to­gether its TV, mu­sic and iCloud stor­age prod­ucts.

• Last night, the travel book­ing web­site Airbnb con­firmed that it had filed pa­per­work to go pub­lic in the lat­est vote of con­fi­dence in an in­creas­ingly bullish stock mar­ket. Airbnb said it had con­fi­den­tially reg­is­tered for an ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing. The com­pany, which has re­cov­ered from a drop in travel caused by the pan­demic, could be worth around $30bn (£23bn) and is likely to float by the end of the year.

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