Apple pips Amazon to become the world’s first trillion dollar company

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It’s been a point of speculation for some time: which will be the world’s first trillion dollar company? Will it be Apple or Amazon. And now we know: Apple made history and briefly topped the trillion dollar mark on Thursday after delivering strong quarterly results. Apple was founded in 1976 and 42 years later its stocks reached a price of $207.05 each.

The immediate spur lies with earnings. Apple posted profits of $11.5bn in past three months after seeing record sales of $53.3bn in the second quarter of 2018. In terms growth and profit, the company saw growth in the USA and across the world. And as we reported, Amazon also reported strong results recently, but not enough to carry it over the trillion dollar company line.

On a realistic basis, this is one of those occasions where a milestone has been met and broken that really doesn’t, in itself, mean a great deal. Apple will know always be known as the the world’s first trillion dollar company by pub quizzers and it will be a long time before we see a two billion dollar company.

But what is perhaps most interesting about both Apple and Amazon is that this isn’t a target they have overtly sought. Indeed, both have spent several decades focussing on innovation and new technology and sometimes without particular commercial success. And yet there is no doubt that both, in their distinctive ways, have undoubtedly changed how millions of people around the world live their lives. All of us included.

If you want to sparkle with trivia knowledge and delight your friends, US Steel became the first company to be worth a billion dollars back in 1901. But back then a US dollar was comparativily worth much less, of course. Perhaps the more interesting measure will be seen in the long term. Which will be a trillion dollar company first for a prolonged period of time?

One Response

  1. The US (federal) government attempted to break up U.S. Steel in 1911 (eventually failed) – to prevent it getting too great a stranglehold over the market. Something to consider re Amazon and certain tech companies. Near monopoloes are great for shareholders, bad for everybody else. “Competition is evil” (Peter Thiel) … “Competition is a sin” (John D. Rockerfeller) .. etc.; but they would say that, wouldn’t they.

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