Apple becomes 1st private company worth $1 trillion

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Apple rallied 2.9 per cent to finish above US$1 trillion in market capitalisation, the latest landmark for the iPhone maker after it posted another round of strong earnings earlier in the week.

In the more than four decades since Steve Jobs founded the company in a California garage, Apple has become almost synonymous with personal computing and mobile devices.

Apple has sold more than a billion iPhones since the first model was unveiled by Jobs in 2007.

Indeed, as we pointed out yesterday, the company managed to grow its revenue by a whopping 17 percent year-over-year to a total of $53.3 billion in the third quarter of 2018. Jobs returned and, with key lieutenants like design head Jony Ive and operations chief Tim Cook, saved Apple and turned it into the giant it is today.

Hot on Apple's heels is Amazon.com, the second-largest listed USA company by market value, at around $880 billion, closely followed by Google-owner Alphabet and by Microsoft.

Apple hit the US$1 trillion milestone in the wake of a new USA tax law that's been a boon for shareholders. In 2011, Apple was the only tech company in the top five.

Independent technology analyst Rob Enderle said Apple's trillion-dollar valuation defied financial trends in recent quarters and potential defeat in a legal battle with Qualcomm over mobile chips.

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June 2007: Apple unveils the iPhone.

"Steve founded Apple on the belief that the power of human creativity can solve even the biggest challenges - and that the people who are insane enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do", Cook wrote in the memo. The Apple Watch has been the closest thing that the company has had to creating another mass-market sensation under Cook's leadership, but that device hasn't come close to breaking into the cultural consciousness like the iPhone or the iPad.

That's a far cry from Apple becoming some kind of poky utility, however.

Gold prices inched downward after Fed's upbeat assessment of the economy to the lowest price in more than a year as the dollar, which typically has an inverse relationship with gold, rose.

But that calculus changed under the administration of President Donald Trump, who pushed Congress to pass a sweeping overhaul of the US tax code that includes a provision lowering this year's rate to 15.5 percent on profits coming back from overseas.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 7.33 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 25,326.49, the S&P 500 gained 13.91 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 2,827.27 and the Nasdaq Composite added 95.40 points, or 1.24 per cent, to 7,802.69.

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