Apple becomes 'most valuable' firm in corporate history

Already the world's most valuable company, Apple has now surpassed Microsoft as the most valuable firm in history. Ahem.

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Apple evangelists will tell you that the firm has always been the best consumer electronics company, despite its turbulent history and the fact that just 15 years ago it was on the verge of going bust. But every dog has his day, and today Apple is the most valuable company in the history of capitalism, with a market capitalisation of $624bn. 

This comfortably exceeds the previous record set by Microsoft in 1999, at $621bn, and is a pretty swish legacy for the late CEO and founder Steve Jobs to leave behind. The news is also a victory for the die-hard Apple fans, since Microsoft was Apple’s nemesis, almost crushing it during the ‘80s and ‘90s. 

But we’re rather sceptical about it at this end, because the figure is not adjusted for inflation. That means that it is only in cash terms that Apple has broken the record. 

If Microsoft’s 1999 record had been adjusted for inflation, it would be worth $852bn in today’s money. And long before that, in 1967, IBM was worth $193bn, which in today’s money would be £1.3tn. Yes, trillion. 
Apple has a bit of catching up to do, yet…

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