Apple has reached an extraordinary milestone. Its market capitalisation has reached $1 trillion, reinforcing its position as the world’s largest business and cementing the shift from heavy industry to technology and innovation that has been under way over the past decade. Apple is not the first company to top the $1-trillion mark. PetroChina crossed that mark shortly after its market debut in 2007. Following a spectacular collapse, it now has a market capitalisation of under $200bn. Its performance has been described by Bloomberg as "the biggest stock slump in world history". The possibility of Apple experiencing such a collapse is remote, not least because it has built its value on real-world sales of devices and services. It, along with Amazon, is in the vanguard of the change in the way the world lives and transacts. It is not without significance that Apple’s milestone comes a month after General Electric suffered the ignominy of being removed from the benchmark Dow Jones indust...

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