The world's most valuable company Apple's market capitalization hit $1 trillion on Thursday, and the U.S. tech giant has become the first company in history to reach that level.
After posting Tuesday strong earnings and revenue for the April-May period this year, Apple shares gained 5.9 percent Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
With a 2.75 percent gain, Apple's stock value climbed to $207.05 per share on Thursday at 11.49 a.m. (1549GMT) to push the market value over the $1 trillion threshold.
By reaching the historic level, Apple's market capitalization left behind 170 countries' GDP last year, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency on the World Bank.
Apple's market value also surpassed the combined GDP of the world's poorest 97 countries last year, the data showed.
Last year, only the world's largest economies -- the U.S., Germany, Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia, France, South Korea, India, the U.K., Spain, Italy, Japan, Canada, Mexico and Russia -- had a higher GDP than Apple's new market cap. In addition, Apple's new market valuation is equal to Indonesia's GDP in 2017.
1. Initial share price was $22
Before Apple attracted millions of devoted customers that line up in front of its stores from the night before every time a new product hits the market, the company's story had begun 42 years ago in California.
Steve Jobs, a young visionary, and Steve Wozniak, an engineer, founded Apple in a garage in Palo Alto, California in 1976 and launched the company's first personal computer -- Apple I.
A year later, multimillionaire entrepreneur Mike Markkula invested $250,000 in the firm, who become involved with the company for several decades.
With the success of the second personal computer, Apple II, Apple's annual sales reached $120 million in 1980. In December of the same year, Apple had its initial public offering (IPO) on the New york Stock Exchange and its stocks started to trade at $22 a share.
In 1983, Apple launched a new personal computer (PC), Lisa, but failed in the market because of high sales price.
A year later came Macintosh computer. Its $1.5 million TV commercial with reference to George Orwell's "1984" novel was a criticism of IBM, which then dominated the PC market. However, Macintosh too failed then to leave a mark in the market.
While Wozniak left Apple in 1985, stating that he does not agree with the direction of the company, the relationship with Jobs and the Board deteriorated.
With the Board siding with then-CEO John Sculley, Jobs was stripped from his duties and then resigned to found software firm NeXT the same year, where the operating system he developed became the core of MacOS that is used in Apple computers today.
2. Jobs' return and iPod
Apple struggled in the market between 1991-1997, and lost approximately $870 million in 1996 alone. Its market cap also fell to $3 billion. With a strategic move, then-CEO Gil Amelio decided in 1997 to buy NeXT and brought Jobs back.
Jobs started to work with Sir Jonathan Ive, who would later design all Apple products and become the company's chief design officer in 2015.
The pair adopted "Think Differently" motto and launched the iMac G3 computer in 1998, which brought Apple back to the consumer electronic market by selling 800,000 units in the first five months.
Jobs and Ive then began working on portable digital music player iPod, which revolutionized the music industry.
With an initial capacity to contain 1,000 songs in digital format, the first iPod was released on November 2001 and sold more than 400 million units since. More importantly, iPod successfully created a strong consumer base for Apple worldwide and turned the company into a global brand.
The online digital media software iTunes Store was launched in April 2003, and enabled Apple users to download digital songs or albums directly into their computers and iPods.
While digital media replaced audio tapes and compact discs, iTunes Store became the world's biggest music retailer in 2010, and its active users climbed to 570 million in 2013.
3. iPhone sells 1.4 billion units
The next big product for Apple, and the company's largest ever revenue generator, came with the fast-growing mobile industry.
Apple began developing iPhone with around 1,000 member team in 2004, and Jobs announced the revolutionary device on January 9, 2007 in San Francisco.
When the first iPhone was released on July 25, it sold 270,000 units in the first 30 hours. That day, Apple stocks were trading at $17 per share, and the firm's market value was $73.5 billion.
Since 2007, Apple introduced 18 different iPhone models in 11 years, which sold more than 1.37 billion and brought the company approximately $900 billion revenue.
Later came iPad in April 2010 and the tablet managed to sell 360 million units since then.
4. Market value triples with Cook in 7 years
With Jobs and Ive, Apple successfully implemented its philosophy of thinking differently, user-friendly interface, simplicity, and building a connection between the device and the user in all of its products.
For Jobs, the letter "i" that was used on almost all Apple products stood for the individual, innovation, internet, and information. However, his health was deteriorating.
Jobs announced he was diagnosed in 2003 with a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, and also temporarily left the company in the first half of 2009 due to his liver.
Then-Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook offered in 2009 to donate a portion of his liver to Jobs, who strongly refused the idea and resigned in August 2011 from Apple due to his health.
When jobs passed away on October 5, 2011 at the age of 56 in Palo Alto, millions of Apple users around the world rushed to Apple Stores to leave flowers and candle, and proved that Apple has been more than a company for them.
When Cook became the new CEO on August 2011, Apple's market value was $346 billion.
By carrying production to manufacturers in China, bringing cost reductions and introducing new products and accessories, Cook tripled Apple's market valuation in 7 years to $1 trillion.
Apple acquired audio and headphones producer Beats Electronics in August 2014 for $3 billion, making it the largest acquisition in company history.
It also introduced Apple Watch in September 2014 that became a popular accessory, and HomePod smart speaker hit the market in February.
The company continues its research and development in self-driving cars and augmented reality.
By Ovunc Kutlu
© Copyright Andolu Ajansi