Apple has made history as the first US-based company to reach a market value of $1 trillion, 40 years after its humble start in a garage that led to a revolution in computing, music and mobile communications.
The milestone is testament to founder Steve Jobs’ bold vision, CEO Tim Cook’s strong leadership and a brand virtually unequalled in innovation and consumer loyalty. Apple’s stock market value is greater than the combined capitalization of Exxon Mobil, Procter & Gamble and AT&T, accounting for 4% of the S&P 500.
Cook said the $1 trillion market capitalization was “not the most important measure” of Apple’s success and should not be the focus going forward. “Financial returns are simply the result of Apple’s innovation, putting our products and customers first, and always staying true to our values.”
Cook wrote to employees following the new valuation: “Steve founded Apple on the belief that the power of human creativity can solve even the biggest challenges—and that the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. Just as Steve always did in moments like this, we should all look forward to Apple’s bright future and the great work we’ll do together.”
Ushering in the smartphone era, the iPhone, introduced in 2007, has sold more than 1 billion units. Apple’s software platforms—iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS—provide a seamless user experience across all Apple devices delivering the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud.
Apple’s future plans include premium services that connect users to subscriptions, exclusive content, car partnerships and bundled original video content including programming from a multiyear deal with Oprah Winfrey.
The company plans to spend more than $1 billion producing original shows to be rolled out between March and summer 2019 and new divisions include adult dramas, children’s programming and content for Latin America and Europe. Already in the works: Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories,” a psychological thriller series from M. Night Shyamalan, a drama series from “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle, a futuristic drama from “Hunger Games” films director/producer Francis Lawrence, a space drama from “Battlestar Galactica” creator Ronald D. Moore, and a drama series starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.
Apple’s WWDC 2018 highlights included a software-focus on iOS12 along with macOS10.14 Mojave. watchOS5 and tvOS12.
Also featured were artificial intelligence and Apple’s ARKit development platform, now collaborating with Pixar to develop a new file format for sharing augmented reality content, and a Lego demo using two iPads showcased ARKit 2.0’s multiplayer support options,
The Photos app has an enhanced search option, a For You tab to make a looped Live Photo like a GIF, and Siri keeps getting smarter with new Shortcuts feature that integrates with apps and builds bespoke voice commands.
Also new, Memoji are personalized, animated emoji where the user becomes the picture.
WatchOS 5 delivers the Dick Tracey vision: podcasts on your wrist, working over cellular and WiFi connections and delivering a haptic feedback alert when someone wants to chat.
The company will also bring to market three new iPhone models later this year—two with OLED screens and one with an LCD screen.
Beyond products, Apple plans to open official stores in India by 2019 and revamp Apple Maps in India by 2020.
It has created a new first-of-its-kind investment, the China Clean Energy Fund, pairing suppliers with renewable energy sources. Along with 10 suppliers to start, Apple will jointly invest $300 million over the next four years into the fund to develop clean energy projects totaling more than 1 gigawatt of renewable energy in China, able to power nearly 1 million homes.