Many of Apple’s top ranking executives were very pleased. Source: Business Insider

Apple became on Thursday the first publicly traded company in history to hit $1 trillion in market valuation. This surge was largely driven by a strong earnings report released on Tuesday. Apple was competing with Amazon towards this goal but the American smartphone company appears to have taken a massive leap. Analysts thought that Amazon could get to $1 trillion first when the e-commerce giant hit $900 billion in market capitalization back in July.

Shortly after the earnings report was released, Apple stocks surged during early morning trading to make history. The stock value dipped for a few hours before finally gaining 2.9% to close just over $1 trillion. This made the smartphone giant the first company ever to close a day of trading at a $1 trillion valuation.

Steve Jobs was instrumental to the success of the company, even posthumously. Source: NBC News

There aren’t many companies that have the potential to join Apple in this exclusive club. Amazon is close but it will be a few months before it gets there. Google, on the other hand, has been surging too. At the moment, the search engine giant is valued at $852 billion. Other companies that are relatively close include Facebook which stands at $500 billion. The tech giants have really been taking the top slots. Other big companies like Coca-Cola and Ford that have no interest in tech have failed way behind these large Silicon Valley companies. For example, Coca-Cola, which is one of the largest companies in the world, is valued at $198 billion while Ford, one of the major US automakers, is at $39 billion.

Apple’s story is that of humble beginnings. The company was founded in a garage by Steve Jobs back in 1976. Jobs partnered with Steve Wozniak. The main goal of Apple during its formation was to create innovative devices that appealed to consumers. This culminated with the launch of the iPhone back in 2007. Since then the smartphone has grown to become one of the most popular devices in the world.

Many Apple products are available today, and the demographic isn’t going away anytime soon. Source: The Guardian

It was not a smooth ride though. In 1990, Apple almost went bankrupt after Jobs left the company because of a dispute with the then CEO. The tech company struggled for a few years until Jobs returned in 1997. Microsoft then invested $150 million to help revive its growth path. It was an odd investment since at the time Apple and Microsoft were direct competitors. But Jobs accepted the money for the sake of the business.

Apple regained stability and started to grow over the next few years that followed. The company draws a big share of its revenues from the sale of hardware, especially smartphones and smart devices. However, in recent months, Apple smaller business skews such as iTunes, App Store, and others have been pulling up their share of revenue.

Achieving this trillion dollar valuation is a big statement of intent from Apple. It remains to be seen whether Amazon and Google will hit this mark too in the near future. But even then, the biggest challenge now for Apple and other companies hoping to join this exclusive club is to maintain this value and keep growing.