Global tech giant Apple became the first company in the world to attain a market capitalisation of $3 trillion when its shares rose on Monday, the first trading day of the new year. The shares lost some ground later, with the iPhone maker closing the day a tad below the $3-trillion mark. Yet, its market value surpassed the GDP of the UK, which stands at $2.83 trillion, and trails that of Germany ($4 trillion).
According to a Forbes report, the closest rivals of Apple in terms of market capitalisation are Microsoft ($2.53 trillion at the end of 2021), Alphabet ($1.92 trillion) and Amazon ($1.69 trillion).
Reports suggest that the significant growth in the company’s market value was propelled by a 40% increase in the sale of iPhones in the year to September 2021. During this period, the demand for Apple products exceeded supply by a huge 12 million units.
Not just hype, but employee wealth
A dramatic increase in the market value of companies not only helps create a buzz around them, but also attracts investors and fresh talent alike. Further, employee stock option schemes of such companies go a long way in attracting and retaining the best talent.
Apple's Employee Stock Purchase Programme is a generous one, offering employees a 15% discount on Apple stock - which, for those who take up the option, can amount to an enormous increase in wealth. Some estimates suggest that Apple employees who maxed out their stock purchase benefits last year may have seen gains of over 40%.
Tech companies have topped the market for the last decade
Tech companies have seen a steady rise in their market value over the last year, as demand for their products and services soared during the COVID-19 pandemic. But they have broken market records even before 2020.
Automobile giant Ford was the first US company to touch a market value of $100 billion mark in 1995, and two years later, the Bill Gates-founded Microsoft achieved a valuation of $500 billion, just when Apple was facing an existential crisis. Helped by the roaring success of iPhone, first launched in 2007 by Apple’s iconic founder Steve Jobs, the California-headquartered company leapt past its competitors to become the first $1-trillion firm in 2018.