Photo: Crystal Cox/Business Insider
  • Apple officially became a $2 trillion company on Wednesday. 
  • The iPhone-maker hit the $1 trillion milestone in August 2018, 38 years after becoming a publicly traded company and about 24 months before hitting hit this latest benchmark. 
  • Despite the coronavirus outbreak, Apple has continued to outperform Wall Street's expectations, due in large part to Apple CEO Tim Cook's emphasis on services and wearables.
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Apple is officially a $2 trillion company

The iPhone-maker hit the benchmark on Wednesday, becoming the first US company to reach that market value and maintaining its position as the world's most valuable company ahead of oil giant Saudi Aramco. Apple hit the milestone after its stock reached an all-time high of $467.84 per share on Wednesday morning. 

Almost exactly two years ago, on August 2, 2018, Apple reached a $1 trillion market valuation, becoming the first US company to do so (it's since been joined by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google parent company Alphabet).

While that milestone was 38 years in the making, however, meeting the $2 trillion mark took only 24 months. 

Apple's skyrocketing share price is driven in large part to CEO Tim Cook's emphasis on expanding beyond the hardware business in recent years. As Business Insider's Lisa Eadicicco notes, Apple has morphed into more than a devices company by investing in two key categories — digital entertainment and financial services — and betting on customer loyalty and a reliance on the Apple ecosystem to fuel its rise. 

Apple went public in December 1980, debuting at $22 per share. Since then, the company has introduced new products like the iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods, and changed the smartphone industry as we know it with introduction of the iPhone.

In recent years, the company has made a play to capture a piece of the services market, launching its own music and video streaming services, its own payments system and credit card, and additional subscription services in categories like gaming and news. 

But hardware remains a key part of Apple's business. Despite slowing iPhone sales in recent years, analysts predict that 2020 could be a stand-out year for the iPhone, as Apple is expected to introduce a 5G model this fall.

Beyond the iPhone, however, Apple has found success in another segment: wearables. The Apple Watch continues to rule the smartwatch segment, and AirPods, which the company introduced in 2016, have proven to be a breakout success. 

And even as the coronavirus outbreak continues to takes its toll on the US economy, Apple has performed better than expected, reporting $59.7 billion in revenue during the third quarter 2020. 

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