Apple’s U Village store in Seattle

Shares of Apple today briefly topped the $700 mark, reaching yet another milestone that would have seemed impossible a decade ago. The stock has since fallen back to around $698 per share. It now has a market value of $654 billion, easily making it the most valuable company in the world.

Microsoft, by comparison, is now valued at $261 billion. And, as you can see in the stock chart below, Microsoft’s stock has been relatively flat over the past decade.

Apple’s $700 per share milestone comes as it prepares to begin selling the iPhone 5 this Friday. Pre-orders of the device, which we reported on yesterday, surpassed more than two million in the first 24 hours. That was double the amount of pre-orders for the iPhone 4S.

UPDATE: As of 1:04 p.m., Apple’s shares had topped $700 again, trading at $701.91. Click on the stock chart below for real-time updates.

Apple’s stock, in blue, versus Microsoft’s stock, in red, over the past decade.
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  • guest

    The most amazing part is that Apple is still quite inexpensive compared to growth while MS isn’t. So Ballmer can’t even blame it on a “bubble” valuation. Between Apple and Google (who will likely be next to pass MS on market cap), MS is being disrupted and destroyed. It took Ballmer thirteen years to lose the first 50% of shareholder’s money. But something tells me the second half is going to be lost much faster.

  • guest

    Congratulations to Tim Cook on adding the equivalent of MS’s entire market capitalization in just one year.

  • Bob

    Stunning success on Apple’s part and abject failure on MS’s.

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