It was always going to be a race between the FAANGS and Microsoft, but Apple has finally done it. The culture-changing technology giant has become the first private-sector company to have a market value of US$1 trillion.

On Thursday, shares of the Silicon Valley group finished the formal Wall Street trading day at $207.39, topping the magic number two days after reporting strong quarterly earnings.

The landmark is the latest victory for Tim Cook, who faced skepticism when he took over as CEO in 2011 from ailing co-founder Steve Jobs, who died in 2011.

Jobs had built Apple into a global and iconic powerhouse, and analysts and industry watchers wondered whether the company would lose its ability to wow the world with “the next big thing.”

“At the core, I think Apple’s biggest revolution has been putting consumer experience first and making technology simple,” Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies, said.

Apple now stands alone among the FAANGs – the other sprawling tech behemoths such as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google – as well as the mighty Microsoft.

And that is partially due to Cook, who has gradually won accolades from investors by pumping out a series of solid financial results and spreading products, such as the iPhone and iPad, to China and other foreign markets.

“Of course, I’m proud of Apple, but I don’t measure the world by human simplifications like round numbers,” Steve Wozniak, who co-founded the group with Jobs back in 1976.

Still, as with other landmarks, such as the Dow Jones crossing 25,000 points for the first time, Apple’s record is significant because of its resonance beyond the financial universe.

“The $1 trillion mark is more psychological, and sends a message of growth and size into the market,” Howard Silverblatt, a senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said.

– additional reporting AFP