Shares of the iconic computer and personal electronics maker have been moving upward in recent weeks as speculation builds toward the unveiling of its next generation iPhone, widely expected to debut at an event next month.
That rise has propelled the company’s market capitalization to a new corporate record of $621.2 billion, the highest ever recorded, according to USA TODAY.
The former record holder is Apple’s long-time personal computing rival Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which hit $620.6 billion back in 1999.
In fact, Apple has been the world’s most valuable company for almost a year now, and currently tops Exxon Mobil‘s (NYSE:XOM) market cap by 53%.
Apple shares moved up 2% — more than $14 — in Monday afternoon trading, in a down-trending market, to over $662 a share. It currently comprises 4.7% of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. That mark has been surpassed only by IBM (NYSE:IBM), which hit 6.3% of the index in 1982, and AT&T (NYSE:T)
Of course, staying on top is hard, especially for a technology company. The slightest misstep, or failure to keep on the cutting edge can prove costly. Just ask Nokia (NYSE:NOK) or Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM). Or, for that matter, IBM.