Apple overtakes Microsoft as world’s most valuable company at $3.29 trillion valuation 

iPhone maker, Apple, became the world’s most valuable company overtaking Microsoft as its market valuation hit $3.29 on Wednesday. 

This comes two days after the company announced ambitious Artificial Intelligence (AI) plans with a strategic partnership with one of the leaders in the AI race, OpenAI.

According to a Reuters report, Apple’s shares jumped nearly 4% to a record $215.04, giving it a huge leap over Microsoft.  

Microsoft’s market capitalization stood at $3.24 trillion, falling behind Apple for the first time in five months. 

Buoyed by AI announcements 

Apple shares had added more than 7% in the previous session, a day after it unveiled a range of AI-enabled features and software enhancements for its devices, a move that several analysts said would power iPhone sales. 

At Apple’s annual developer conference on Monday, executives, including CEO Tim Cook, touted how voice assistant Siri would be able to interact with messages, emails, calendars as well as third-party apps. 

The tech giant has trailed rivals such as Microsoft and Google-owner Alphabet in the field of AI, a reason why its shares underperformed this year compared to its peers.  

Some of the concerns over its weak share performance, however, eased after Apple beat market expectations for quarterly results and forecast in May and unveiled a record $110 billion buyback plan.  

According to Reuters, Apple’s shares have risen about 12% so far in 2024, while Microsoft has added about 16% and Alphabet nearly 28%. 

Number one global brand 

Meanwhile, Apple also recorded another win on Wednesday as it became the first brand to cross $1 trillion in brand value in a global ranking by Kantar’s BrandZ. 

The iPhone maker retained its crown as the world’s most valuable brand for the third straight year in 2024, followed by Alphabet’s Google at $753 billion and Microsoft at $713 billion, the report shows. 

Earlier this week, Apple unveiled new AI features, which are expected to rekindle demand for iPhones and reverse a sales decline for its biggest-selling product due to choppy consumer spending and resurgent tech rivals. 

Apple’s AI journey 

  • Apple had an early lead in AI after it launched Siri in 2011, but the technology was quickly overtaken by Google Assistant and Inc.’s Alexa.
  • Then AI took another giant leap forward when OpenAI’s ChatGPT arrived at the end of 2022. 
  • That led to a flurry of other services, including ones from Google, Microsoft and Meta Platforms Inc. Samsung Electronics Co. — Apple’s biggest smartphone rival — also integrated Google AI features into its devices earlier this year. 
  • Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, will now have to show that the iPhone maker can lead again. The company also is contending with a broader sales slump.  


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