4 Jan 2022

[NEW YORK] Apple became the first US company to hit US$3 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 US$182.88 a share before slipping back slightly.

The tech giant also was the first US company to hit US$2 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 US$1 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 cofounder, Steve Jobs.

While the top tier of US stock markets are dominated by Silicon Valley companies, Microsoft is the only other American company worth more than US$2 trillion.

In October, Apple reported net income of US$20.5 billion on revenue of US$83.4 billion, a record high for the quarter ending in September.

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 South-east Asia.

Apple shares tumbled following that October earnings report, but rallied thereafter, winning nearly 20 per cent in the final two months of 2021.

Near 1930 GMT, Apple shares were up 2.4 per cent to US$181.91.