Apple's market value hits $600bn

 

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Technology giant Apple has surpassed $600bn (£379bn) in value for the first time, affirming its position as the world's most valuable firm.

Apple shares reached a high of $644 on Tuesday, having only just crossed the $500 threshold back in February.

Apple's stock is up almost 60% since the start of the year.

It is another milestone for the iPhone maker, whose shares were worth as little as $3.19 in 1997 when it faced the possibility of bankruptcy.

Rival Microsoft is worth $260bn and in 1999, at the peak of the dotcom boom, reached $619bn in market capitalisation.

There has been some talk that there is another tech boom - and potential bust - under way.

On Monday, Facebook said it will pay $1bn to buy Instagram, the popular photo-sharing smartphone app, which has only 13 employees and was launched in October 2010.

Apple's resurgence

Apple's revival under Steve Jobs, who died last year, came about first in computers and then the iPod music player, which was followed by the iPhone and iPad.

Jobs co-founded Apple in Silicon Valley in the 1970s, but was fired in 1985.

He was asked to rejoin in 1997 and changed the company's product lines, culminating in the success of the iPhone and its tablet spin-off, the iPad.

In January, Apple reported record-breaking net profits for the last three months of 2011. At the end of last year, it revealed it had $97.6bn in cash.

In March, the tech giant under current chief executive Tim Cook said it will use its cash to start paying a dividend to shareholders and to buy back some of its shares.

It expects to use $45bn over the next three years.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 160.

    I suggest stories referring to Apple pre-populate the comments section with a canned 'frothing-at-the-mouth' --in the hope of dissuading anti-Applists from launching their dogmas and lowering the level of discourse. A simple keyword list might suffice e.g. "bubble, over-priced, marketing, hype, sheep, walled garden, closed system, Steve Jobs, etc.".

    Nothing succeeds like success, it must be said.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 159.

    hardware wise apple products are inferior, cosmetic wise, app wise, security wise they are superior, so question is what is most important to you?You can get better specs hardware wise in a windows pc for half the price,also you can upgrade each hardware piece like graphics card etc macs you cant.phone wise samsung has sold more and is superior.apple has a good marketing that's why is successful

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 158.

    Apple products are far superior to any comparable ones. I had always owned a number of laptops/desktops with Windows O/S and so it was with a little hesitation that I purchased a Macbook Pro about 3 years ago. It has been faultless with no O/S issues at all. Although it is a highly competitive market, I see little for Apple to worry about. An apple a day keeps the virus away.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 157.

    @DrWilko
    Actually Apple will replace your iDevice for the cost of a new battery ..... It's not case of having to re-buy every 12 months. The new 'ultrabook' PC format is a rip-off of the Mac Book Air - Apple continue to innovate, others save on R & D by copying. Steve Balmer wrote off the iPhone as a gimmick, Zune anybody?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 156.

    I suppose Apple could do itselves a favour and loosen up a bit at ALL levels in the company and not be so precious, secretive, and unable to take on board external and internal criticism etc,and realise that if you did this the markets and customers would still take you seriously as ultimately you will innovate or die!
    Also please employ some older people in you shops,and reflect your customers!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 155.

    It's stunning the ignorance, arrogance, misinformation and anger displayed towards Apple and its customers by so many here. I guess for many it makes them feel superior that they are not joining the millions of very satisfied customers.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 154.

    another bubble based on a product

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 153.

    Find it hard to believe that Apple is going to be a long term success. Problem is that it's current success is not built on anything solid, it is built on exceptional marketing techniques & emotional connections that it builds with customers turning them into evangelists. These two cannot last forever. Sure, the products are high quality, but they don't have much over competitors and are expensive

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 152.

    I prefer the Asus Prime tablet and the Samsung G2 phone. They are much more superior products. It's a mission just to put a few mp3s on an i-fad

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 151.

    It looks like it won't be long till Apple is worth $800bn or even $1tn. These values are ridiculously high but it reflects the massive demand for their excellent products. At the same time like all companies in the past, once they reach their peak in popularity, the demand for Apple products will fall and the this value of Apple will also fall. Look at Microsoft for example.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 150.

    @139 What Malware is on other Tablets? I don't know of any and I've used Android tablets for a while now. If you mean the Mac computers then you need to check the BBC Tech news from last week, the "Apples don't have viruses" myth is just that, a myth.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 149.

    PamWhite

    "Apple rely on unpaid techies on forums to sort out a myriad of software glitches, rendering their devices useless. But, what the hell? Why should they care about customer service? Next sucker please!"

    What universe do you exist in? Apple has for many years now been tops when it comes to customer service and tech support. It's a night and day difference to other tech companies.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 148.

    Apple’s iPhone’s that are sold in the EU seem to be exempt from the micro USB power / data adapter change that forced all other manufactures to alter the design of there phone’s / tabs etc. Costing them a whole load of money and delaying the launching of new models initially no wonder APPLES made so much money it has had an unfair advantage over it's rivals, this has to be questioned right?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 147.

    What goes up must come down...

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 146.

    @AllenT2:

    Although the iPad was a superior device up until December of 2011, there are at least two Android alternatives that have the same or better specs but cost $50-$200 less. The Retina display is a gimmick, you don't need that many pixels in a 9.7 inch screen. My Transformer Prime looks and performs just as well but cost me $200 less.

    And iPhone lost its dominance to Android a while ago.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 145.

    @130. DrRatters, you only see what you know, and conversely you only know what you see. When I see almost every person I know struggle to do anything at all on their pc's, being bombarded with virus's and ugly software and hardware, I surely am glad that SJ had the courage of his convictions. Seeing as computers are so ubiquitous the world is certainly a better place now.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 144.

    @142 "Fact: All competing tablets have sealed batteries."

    That is NOT a fact at all. This is a case of Apple fans not knowing anything about the other devices out there. Check out the Toshiba Thrive (AT100 is Europe). That gives full access to the battery and they sell spares if you want them. Please check your FACTS before making statements.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 143.

    That house of cards will wobble soon and a lot of apples will fall. There is no way on earth they can sustain that realistically now other makers products have caught them up.

    Except Blackberry OFC

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 142.

    @45

    If apples vanished would be a weeping and a gnashing of teeth not much else

    If P.C.s vanished the whole modern world would come crashing to a halt factory's, office's, goverment's the whole kitkaboodle xD

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 141.

    DHWilko wrote:

    "its impossible to upgrade iPhones/iPads without actually replacing the whole thing. Not even the batteries."

    Fact: All competing tablets have sealed batteries.

    "They make money forcing customers to buy another every 6 months"

    Fact: Apple, like every other manufacturer updates yearly.

    I'm still using my iPad 1 so obviously I haven't been forced to upgrade.

 

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