Apple rode the company’s strong earnings report to become the
world’s most valuable publicly traded company, surpassing the
state oil giant Saudi Aramco at Friday’s market close.
Apple shares closed up 10.47% Friday, giving it a market valuation
of $1.84 trillion. Saudi Aramco, which had been the most valuable
publicly listed company since its market debut last year, now
trails at $1.76 trillion as of its last close.
If you’re a newish user — say from the last decade — this surely feels different than if you’re a long-time Mac user. Bill Gates “rescuing” Apple with a $150 million investment from Microsoft (the symbolism of which, along with the commitment to continue developing Office for Mac, was far more important than the money itself), Wired magazine (when Wired magazine was truly great) running the “Pray” cover (when Apple was truly at risk), Sun Microsystems negotiating to acquire Apple for just under $4 billion in early 1996 (truly the nearest Apple ever came to death).
If you’re a fan of Apple’s stock, this is welcome news. If you’re a fan of Apple’s products, this is profoundly worrisome. How does a company this large, this successful, not succumb to hubris? How does Apple keep the edge of an upstart? I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m just pointing out the obvious: the difficult part of Tim Cook’s era as CEO is really only beginning.
★ Monday, 3 August 2020