Apple’s (AAPL) market valuation hit $3 trillion on Friday, making it the first publicly traded company to touch the milestone twice. The moment came when Apple shares crossed the $190.74 level at the beginning of the trading day. The iPhone maker originally crossed the $3 trillion mark in January 2022.
The achievement follows a busy first half of 2023 for technology stocks, which saw the Nasdaq soar 30% while Apple stock gained more than 45%.%.
Both Wall Street and Silicon Valley are participating in the generative AI hype wave that began with the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November 2022. But while companies like Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG, GOOGL), and Nvidia (NVDA) can point to their AI work, In order to at least partially prop up their stock prices, Apple has largely shied away from any mention of artificial intelligence.
Instead, the company’s biggest accomplishments came with its ability to navigate a supply chain crisis caused by COVID lockdowns in China and the resilience of its iPhone business — and the promise of a dive into the new AR/VR headset market with the Vision Pro.
“This is ultimately a safe type of company for investors regardless of the macroeconomy in which it operates,” CFRA vice president and technology equity analyst Angelo Zino told Yahoo Finance Live “It’s a name that we continue to live by and a name that we keep telling investors, ‘Don’t necessarily trade, it’s a name you want to invest in for the long term.'”
Apple, like other tech companies, has been facing tough comparisons over the past few earnings seasons as it has absorbed the huge increase in sales of iPhones, Macs and iPads during the pandemic.
And while Mac and iPad revenue in the fourth quarter was lower than the same period in 2022, iPhone sales jumped year over year.
In June, Apple introduced a 15-inch version of its popular MacBook Air, which could help boost Mac sales going forward, especially as we enter the all-important back-to-school shopping season. But iPad sales could still face challenges going forward.
The Cupertino-based company is moving in a few new directions that could define its future. The Vision Pro’s most ambitious headset is scheduled for release in early 2024, at a staggering $3,499.
But Apple will likely lower that price to a more acceptable range to ensure that the average iPhone owner can afford the headset. That could open up a whole new product category for the company, though reaching the highest levels of its iPhone business is a difficult prospect.
Perhaps more important are Apple’s moves into the Indian market.
The company opened its first store in the country in April, signaling its commitment to growing its market base in the world’s most populous country. But Apple products are still too expensive for the vast majority of Indians, which means sales growth will likely be slow.
Apple is also moving some of its manufacturing power to India, as it seeks to reduce its reliance on China as a major hub for building iPhones and other products.
The effort comes as geopolitical tensions between the United States and China have put Apple in the difficult position of having to pacify two rival nations while still running a successful business. Moving to India and other parts of Asia could alleviate some of these problems.
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