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Apple hits $3 trillion market cap as 2023 tech rally continues

Apple's (AAPL) market valuation hit $3 trillion on Friday, making it the first publicly traded company to touch the milestone twice. The company's market cap closed above $3 trillion Friday for the first time ever, as shares ended the day up 2.31% at $193.97.

The iPhone maker originally eclipsed the $3 trillion mark in Jan. 2022.

The milestone comes after a rip-roaring first half of 2023 for tech stocks, which has seen the Nasdaq rise 30% while Apple stock has gained more than 45%.

Wall Street and Silicon Valley are all in on the generative AI hype wave that kicked off with the release of OpenAI's ChatGPT in Nov. 2022. But while companies like Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG, GOOGL), and Nvidia (NVDA) can point to their work in AI for at least partially buoying their share prices, Apple has largely stayed away from any mention of AI.

Instead, the company's biggest achievements have come via its ability to navigate the supply chain crisis caused by COVID lockdowns in China and the resilience of its iPhone business—and the promise of diving into new the AR/VR headset market with its Vision Pro.

"This is ultimately a safe haven type of company for investors no matter the macroeconomy you're in," CFRA vice president and technology equity analyst Angelo Zino told Yahoo Finance Live "It's a name we continue to live and a name we continue to tell investors, 'Don't necessarily trade, it's a name you want to be investing in for the long term.'"

Apple, like other tech companies, faces difficult comparisons over the last few earnings seasons as it digested the massive pull forward in sales of iPhones, Mac computers, and iPads during the pandemic.

And while Mac and iPad revenue in the latest quarter was lower than in the same period of 2022, iPhone sales jumped year-over-year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an annoucement of new products on the Apple campus Monday, June 5, 2023, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Market champ: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an annoucement of new products on the Apple campus June 5, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

In June Apple debuted a 15-inch version of its popular MacBook Air, which could help boost Mac sales moving forward, especially as we enter the all-important back-to-school shopping season. But iPad sales could still be challenged moving forward.

The Cupertino-based company is also moving in a handful of new directions that could define its future. Its most ambitious Vision Pro headset is set to launch in early 2024 at an eye-watering $3,499.

But Apple is likely to bring that price down to a more palatable range to ensure the average iPhone owner can afford the headset. That could open up a whole new product category for the company, though reaching the highs of its iPhone business is a tough prospect.

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Sign up for the Yahoo Finance newsletter. (Yahoo Finance)

Perhaps more importantly are Apple's moves into the Indian market.

The company opened its first store in the country in April, signaling its commitment to growing its market base in the world's most populous nation. But Apple's products are still prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of Indians, meaning sales growth will likely be slow.

Apple is also in the process of moving some of its manufacturing might into India, as it seeks to trim its reliance on China as its main hub for building iPhones and other products.

The effort comes as geopolitical tensions between the US and China put Apple in the difficult position of having to placate two rival countries while continuing to operate a successful business. Moving to India, and other regions of Asia could alleviate some of those problems.

Daniel Howley is the tech editor at Yahoo Finance. He's been covering the tech industry since 2011. You can follow him on Twitter @DanielHowley.

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