Apple share prices surpass $500 apiece for the first time

Rising share prices sees Apple more valuable than Google and Microsoft combined

Eclipsing its two closest competitors and setting itself out as the world's most valuable company, Apple is now valued close to half a trillion dollars

Apple has extended its lead as the world’s most valuable company narrowing in on a half a trillion dollar valuation with rising stock prices seeing shares in the company surpass $500 (£317) for the first time.

Bolstered by the recently announced record fourth quarter profits, the iPad and iPhone manufacturer has seen shares hit a record $502.60 high with recent reports suggest Apple is now more valuable than both Google and Microsoft combined.

With a quarterly profit of $13.06 billion from $46.33 billion revenues in the final three months of 2011 Apple is continuing to grow at a rapid pace with the world’s second most valuable company, Exxon Mobil now straggling in the distance with a $402 billion valuation.

Apple Value in Context

With shares priced at a low of $3.19 (£2.03) prior to Steve Jobs’ return in 1997, Apple has grown rapidly in the past decade with the unrivalled success of the iPod, iPhone and iPad seeing the tech manufacturer become the world’s most valuable company, breaching a $460 billion valuation.

Whilst $460 billion (£292bn) is an unfathomable figure, Apple’s latest valuation sees the company with more cash reserves than the US government with Apple now worth more than the combined value of all the illegal drugs in the world.

Continue the run of farcical amounts of money; Apple now has more money than the Gross Domestic Products of countries such as Denmark, Greece, South Africa and New Zealand, the cost of two complete Apollo space programmes and the entire global coffee industry.

With a $460 billion valuation, what is the craziest statistic of Apple’s worth have you seen? Let us know via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Via: BBC