The Take

An Apple a Day09/08/18

Publications Director and prolific Take writer Alex Conroy returns to discuss the emergence of the trillion dollar company in this week’s edition of The Take:

The race to one trillion USD market capital is over, with Apple declared the winner on Thursday 2nd August when their shares reached $207.04. The milestone is the result of a 23 percent increase in value this year after a decade of exceptional growth following the release of the iPhone.

Founded in 1976 and making its debut on the NASDAQ in 1980, Apple now represents four percent of the S&P 500. Apple was originally focused entirely on the creation of personal computers, notably the Apple II, one of the first highly successful mass-produced computers. Apple spent the 1990’s struggling, with rocky sales and an innovation slump after the ousting it’s famous co-founder Steve Jobs.

Returning to the company in 1996 Jobs re-established his trademark corporate philosophy and product design beginning with the iMac in 1998,  iPod in 2001, and iTunes store in 2003.

This period set the stage for Apple’s most famous product and the explosive growth that the modern consumer now associates with Apple. The iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010 both powered by Apple’s iOS software.

Thus began the era of the smartphone, with Apple dominating the market, with subsequent iPhones and iPads, expanding its range to now include the iPad mini and pro, alongside the iPhone 8, plus and X variants.

Apple also continued to create and update all of its consumer product lines, including its MacBook and iMac computer ranges, iPod and in 2014 the Apple Watch.

While some products or iterations of the product have received mixed reviews, Apple has succeeded in surrounding itself in a sometimes fanatic fan base that has shielded its sales and growth from all but the harshest of downturns.

Tim Cook, Jobs’ successor and current CEO of Apple is currently in the process of two of the biggest shake-ups in Apple’s history. Both of which are arguably holdovers of the Jobs era. The expansion of the Apple product line-up and the spending of an obscenely large cash pile. All of which has been to help Apple move away from its dependence on the sales of the iPhone, a market that after 11 years of steady and reliable growth has begun to contract.

While this is a huge milestone for Apple, the US and the Technology sector in general, the news has not been without its detractors. With some reports pointing out that both Saudi oil company Aramco is worth more than 1 trillion (however they are a private company with a modified IPO slated for 2019), and PetroChina which (briefly) reached the milestone way back in 2007. Not to mention the scathing article by well-known website Tech Crunch which listed all the things they can believe a trillion dollar company releases as final products.

All in all, hats off to Apple for being the first US company to hit the trillion milestones, although it won’t be there on its own for long.