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  • (soft music)

  • - [Narrator] This August, Apple became

  • the most valuable publicly traded company in the world.

  • Overtaking Aramco as its market cap soared past $2 trillion

  • for the first time ever.

  • - And that is a $2 trillion milestone.

  • - Shares of the company increased

  • nearly 60% this year.

  • I mean, it really is history.

  • - [Narrator] But the company's road to $2 trillion,

  • hasn't been a straight climb.

  • After founder, Steve Jobs passed away in 2011,

  • many investors doubted that his successor, Tim Cook

  • could fill his shoes and propel the company forward.

  • - Really a trillion dollar market cap

  • wasn't part of the discussion back then.

  • It was much more about whether Tim Cook

  • could even sustain the level of success that they'd had.

  • - [Narrator] But amidst lawsuits, regulatory investigations,

  • and an ongoing trade war, Apple's shares have surged.

  • This is how Apple became

  • the most valuable publicly traded company in the world.

  • - Introducing Apple II, the easy to operate home computer.

  • - [Narrator] Apple first launched its Apple II

  • home computer in 1977,

  • revolutionizing the industry in the world.

  • But to follow its rise to the very top,

  • a good place to start is August, 2018.

  • When Apple reached its $1 trillion market cap,

  • for the first time ever

  • surpassing other tech giants by billions of dollars.

  • - Apple is now as valuable

  • as the four biggest US banks combined.

  • And if you'd put $10, 000 in Apple in 1980

  • today, you'd be a millionaire.

  • - [Narrator] The company was coming off

  • one of its strongest years since the death of Steve Jobs.

  • - Apple had had some stumbles up through 2016

  • and there were doubts about Tim Cook's leadership

  • and the company's products prospects

  • in the China market.

  • Things started to stabilize really

  • later that year and in 2017

  • and by 2018, I think people had a sense that

  • the company was really clicking again.

  • The iPhone 10 had come out

  • and you saw the stock just continued

  • to rise and rise and rise

  • and then in the middle of the 2018,

  • it kind of shot out to get over the milestone.

  • - [Narrator] In July, 2018, the company reported

  • its best third quarter ever.

  • Its flagship iPhones remained widely popular

  • and sales from the app store and other services

  • had hit all time highs,

  • but this wasn't going to last.

  • About a month later,

  • Apple released a new suite of iPhones,

  • which included it's most expensive model yet.

  • (audience applauds)

  • - This is iPhone 10S.

  • It is the most advanced we've ever created.

  • - They were riding high in 2018,

  • going into the launch of the new phones later that year,

  • they were sounding very confident

  • that those phones would succeed.

  • - [Narrator] But things didn't go as expected.

  • In January, 2019,

  • Apple announced it had missed

  • its expectation for iPhone sales.

  • This had a lot to do with the ongoing trade war

  • between the US and China.

  • - The Chinese economy was suffering

  • and purchases of iPhones in China fell sharply.

  • The higher price phone,

  • I think people felt underwhelmed by the new features

  • and questioned whether it was worth spending that much.

  • - [Narrator] In response, the company slashed

  • it's quarterly revenue forecast

  • for the first time in over 15 years.

  • Since its peak, the company lost

  • more than $400 billion in market value.

  • 2018 turned out to be Apple's worst yearly stock performance

  • since the financial crisis.

  • And for some skeptics this fall from grace

  • seemed to confirm their doubts that Tim Cook

  • would successfully lead the company.

  • Then in March, 2019,

  • Cook move to dramatically expand his strategy,

  • the company started in 2017.

  • - Today, we're excited to extend our services even further,

  • making them even more entertaining,

  • more useful and more informative.

  • - [Narrator] During a special event

  • in Cupertino, California,

  • the company announced the Apple credit card, Apple TV plus,

  • and a number of new finance gaming and new services.

  • - This was something that had already been set

  • in motion before and that Tim Cook

  • had really been hammering on for a couple of years

  • at that point.

  • And it was really part of an effort to transform the company

  • from being focused on gadgets,

  • to being focused on gadgets and the services

  • that attach themselves to those gadgets.

  • - [Narrator] Amid press around the event,

  • Apple stock price continued to rise.

  • The company's big bet on services

  • was starting to pay off.

  • - In the spring of 2019,

  • the US China trade war was gathering momentum.

  • Donald Trump was threatening and imposing new tariffs

  • and there was a great concern for Apple

  • that its iPhones and other gadgets

  • could get more expensive for US consumers

  • as a consequence of this.

  • - [Narrator] For years, Trump has pressured Apple

  • to move more of its production to the US.

  • - And that was something that really wasn't feasible

  • on a mass scale for Apple.

  • In fact, around this time,

  • they were planning to shift manufacturing

  • of the one product

  • that they were still making in the US over to China

  • and that was their highest end Mac desktop computer.

  • Cook was able to largely navigate around the tariffs

  • and avoid having much damage to Apple as a consequence.

  • - [Narrator] With key products, such as iPhones

  • exempted from sanctions,

  • Apple stock continue to gain momentum.

  • But amid a surge of growth,

  • Apple's new focus on services brought scrutiny

  • from federal regulators.

  • In the US the company faced antitrust probes

  • related to its app store

  • where many of the services are based.

  • But this didn't seem to faze investors.

  • Over the course of the year.

  • Apple has bought back around $80 billion

  • worth of its own shares, further juicing the stock price.

  • And by January 3rd, the company's share price

  • had more than doubled from the year before.

  • Apple's future looked promising

  • and then this happened.

  • - [Reporter] Chinese authorities

  • have traced a new deadly virus

  • back to this seafood market in the city of Wuhan.

  • - The coronavirus has spread to countries across the world.

  • - So via border restrictions

  • and global share market free falls,

  • attesting our politics, economies and society.

  • - [Narrator] As the coronavirus pandemic

  • spread across the world,

  • Apple's manufacturing hubs in China

  • were hit, especially hard.

  • - Like most companies, Apples start

  • knows that have been in February of this year,

  • the coronavirus was scaring investors

  • and Apple was probably more exposed to it

  • than most companies because it had emanated from China.

  • Apple's contract manufacturers in China

  • had to close their factories for a time

  • as they dealt with the coronavirus impact.

  • - [Narrator] But Apple stock quickly bounced back.

  • In the U S the federal reserve enacted

  • a colossal stimulus plan to pump cash into the economy,

  • lifting the markets, including stocks like Apple,

  • and as people's lives changed,

  • technology became even more essential.

  • - How is this whole working from home thing going for you?

  • - During the pandemic period, people were at home

  • had to work and their children had to use computers

  • or tablets to be able to go to school.

  • People didn't have any other entertainment

  • other than what they could do at home.

  • So they were watching more TV programming

  • and streaming music and downloading apps.