Apple $1 trillion milestone: Here’s why it matters

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Apple isn't the first company in the world to hit a trillion-dollar market cap; Chinese oil and gas company PetroChina beat it to the punch by more than a decade.

Apple, the company Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded in 1976 in possibly not a garage, became the most valuable company in the world in 2012, passing Microsoft as iPhone sales pushed the company into the stratosphere.

Apple saw excellent numbers during its fiscal third quarter of the year, revealing strong global sales and demand for the pricey iPhone X, which helped tip revenues to a new record despite a dip in device sales. "Being hyper-focused on the details and making products and services relentlessly better versus drifting and being distracted by other things defines Tim Cook's genius". Amazon, Google parent Alphabet, and Microsoft have all watched their fortunes rise - and investors have watched closely to see which would hit $1 trillion first.

Apple is quite some ways from completely controlling the world though, to become richer than any country it would have to surpass the GDP of the United States, which is now sitting at 19.4 trillion dollars.

The price escalation has widened Apple's profit margins to the delight of investors, who have boosted the company's market value by about $83 billion - almost equal to the entire market value of American Express - since the quarterly report came out late Tuesday.

Jobs eventually introduced popular products such as the iPod and iPhone that subsequently drove Apple's rise.

But the phenomenal success of the iPhone led competitors to mirror certain features like touch-screens featuring rows of colorful icons - and prompted Apple to pursue those competitors in court. It makes more money and pays its owners - the shareholders - more than any other public enterprise on the planet. Apple stock is up more than 20% this year.

As with other landmarks - such as the Dow crossing 25,000 for the first time -the Apple record is significant because of its resonance beyond the financial universe. The shares are up 22 percent so far this year.

October 2011: Jobs, 56, dies after battling pancreatic cancer, having turned over command of Apple to Tim Cook earlier in the year. "Given our confidence in Apple's future, we are very happy to announce that our Board has approved a new $100 billion share repurchase authorization and a 16 percent increase in our quarterly dividend", he added.

GBH Insights analyst Dan Ives discussed the milestone with CNBC saying: "I think it just speaks to just how powerful the Apple ecosystem has become over the last few decades".