Apple’s market value has now topped $2 trillion. It is the first US company to hit this milestone. Though an arbitrary mark, it’s a testimony to the pandemic-defying performance of the iPhone maker. 

Based on a share count of more than $4.275 billion, Apple broke the barrier just before 11 am ET.

It was only two years ago that the tech giant hit the $1 trillion market cap, meaning the company has virtually doubled in value in just over 24 months. 

However, Apple is not the first company in the world to hit the $2 trillion benchmark. Saudi Aramco, the gas and oil giant, headquartered in Saudi Arabia, did so first. After the firm dropped below that figure due to its stock price wavering, Apple surpassed Aramco as the most valuable company in the world earlier this year.

Apple’s success is also a sign of confidence in its shift towards more services, such as Apple TV+ and games subscription Apple Arcade, rather than relying on iPhone sales.

Can the tech-giant make it to $3tn?

With Apple’s stock rally cementing its place at the top, some investors are already wondering about whether the iPhone maker’s market capitalisation can trek to $3 trillion.

Experts say that the advent of 5G technology and Apple’s forthcoming 5G phone will be crucial to its next trillion in market cap. 

On CNBC’s “Halftime Report”, Stephen Weiss, founder of Short Hills Capital, said that Apple’s “5G phone is going to be the biggest product launch they’ve ever had around the world.”

Apple and Antitrust

Like other big tech firms such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, Apple is also currently under scrutiny for antitrust practices in both the EU and the US.

In June this year, the European Commission has opened formal antitrust investigations to assess whether Apple’s rules for app developers on the distribution of apps via the App Store violate EU competition rules. 

The investigations concern the mandatory use of Apple’s own proprietary in-app purchase system and restrictions on the ability of developers to inform iPhone and iPad users of alternative cheaper purchasing possibilities outside of apps.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said that “Mobile applications have fundamentally changed the way we access content. Apple sets the rules for the distribution of apps to users of iPhones and iPads. It appears that Apple obtained a “gatekeeper” role when it comes to the distribution of apps and content to users of Apple’s popular devices.” 

“We need to ensure that Apple’s rules do not distort competition in markets where Apple is competing with other app developers, for example with its music streaming service Apple Music or with Apple Books. I have therefore decided to take a close look at Apple’s App Store rules and their compliance with EU competition rules.”

While Apple’s main antitrust accusations relate to the App Store, it also has to deal with complaints in other areas of its empire.

The US Department of Justice announced it was performing an antitrust review of Apple, alongside Amazon, Google, and Facebook. The review aimed to assess “the widespread concerns that consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media, and some retail services online.” On the topic of retaliation and bullying developers going public with their App Store frustrations, Cook stated Apple hadn’t done that, adding it was “strongly against our company culture.”

Zahra Khozema