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Move over Gates: Apple now most valuable company ever

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Apple has overtaken Microsoft as the most valuable company of all time after its share price surged this week, pushing the value of the company to $623bn.

Apple shares hit a new high of $665, up $14.98 on Friday’s close and 2.63% overall as speculation grew over the launch of an iPhone 5 and a smaller, cheaper iPad.

Microsoft’s 1999 peak was $620.58bn according to Standard & Poor’s. In inflation-adjusted dollars, the software giant was worth about $850bn in December 1999, the peak of the dot com bubble. Microsoft is now worth $257bn.

Apple, in contrast, is now worth more than Microsoft and Google combined.

Apple has been the world’s most valuable company since the end of last year and is now worth 53% more than Exxon Mobil, the world’s second most valuable company.

Apart from the iPhone and ‘mini iPad’, analysts are speculating the company could develop its Apple TV offering to complete its suite of consumer electronics products.

China’s largest oil company, PetroChina, was briefly worth $1trn after it listed on the Shanghai stock exchange in 2007, but only based on its price on that exchange. Based on trading in Hong Kong and New York, where the shares are also listed, its market capitalisation never went as high as $500bn.

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