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Apple’s stock has never been higher

It’s not the first tech company to be worth 0bn – Microsoft, Intel, Cisco and GE passed that mark in 2000 – but Apple is on a roll as iPad 3 anticipation mounts

Apple is not the first company to be worth more than 0bn (£315bn) – but, with its equity value passing that landmark on Tuesday, it is the only business in the world currently priced that highly.

During the dotcom boom in 2000, Microsoft, Intel, Cisco and GE passed that level, with Exxon Mobil reaching 0bn in 2009. None of them are near it now, and Apple is worth bn more than the oil company.

As anticipation of next week’s product launch – expected to be the latest incarnation of the iPad – grows, the company’s stock, in all senses of the word, has never been higher.

It is not just the technology that is causing the excitement among investors. Apple has 0bn of cash on the balance sheet, and analysts are hoping the company will use some of that stockpile to pay out a dividend.

It is not all plain sailing, however. A Chinese court is hearing Apple’s appeal of a ruling against its right to use the iPad trademark in China. The company is in dispute with Proview Electronics, which it says sold it the rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries, including China, in 2009.

To put Apple’s value into perspective, only 20 countries in the world have a gross domestic product worth more than 0bn.

In the UK, the largest company in the FTSE 100 by value is the Anglo-Dutch oil firm Royal Dutch Shell, which is worth just under £150bn. While Apple has seen off the US oil giants, Britain’s technology businesses have yet to achieve the same feat. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds