Apple reaches $1,000,000,000,000 value

Apple has become the first $1 trillion publicly listed U.S. company, crowning a decade-long rise fuelled by its ubiquitous iPhone that transformed it from a niche player in personal computers into a global powerhouse spanning entertainment and communications. Today, Apple shares were trading at $206.81, propelling the company's market valuation past the $1 trillion milestone.

To survive, Apple brought back its once-exiled co-founder, Steve Jobs, as interim CEO and turned to its archrival Microsoft for a US$150 million cash infusion to help pay its bills.

If someone had dared to buy $10,000 worth of stock at that point of desperation, the investment would be worth about $2.6 million now.

Other companies have come close to the mark, but no public USA company has hit a $1 trillion valuation.

One of three founders, Jobs was driven out of Apple in the mid-1980s, only to return a decade later and rescue the computer company from near bankruptcy. They rose to an all-time high of $207.26 before falling back slightly.

After initially offering its stock at $22 per share on December 12, 1980, Apple closed around $29 a share, or about $0.02 after adjusting for stock splits and dividends, according to data from Yahoo Finance.

January 1984: Apple heralds the arrival of its first Macintosh computer with a "1984" television commercial directed by Ridley Scott portraying a bold blow struck against an Orwellian computer culture. This made it hard to determine the company's actual value.

Jobs' vision, showmanship and sense of style propelled Apple's comeback.

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This makes Apple worth more than the economies of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Taiwan.

Jobs remained mercurial when he returned to Apple, but he had also become more thoughtful and adept at spotting talent that would help him create a revolutionary innovation factory.

Watch Apple trade in real time here.

The ailing Jobs handed the corporate reins to his chief lieutenant, Cook, in 2011.

Although Apple has yet to produce another mass-market sensation since that changing of the guard, Cook has leveraged the legacy that Jobs left behind to stunning heights.

January 2016: Apple announces that more than a billion of its devices are in use around the world.

Apple just became the first American public company to cross $1 trillion in value.

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