As Apple's stock crossed the $660 mark and continued to climb driven by iPhone 5 rumors, the company became the world's most valuable company that is not owned by a government entity.
Apple closed Monday trading at $665.15, up $17.04 or 2.63 percent from Friday. The market cap landed at $623.53 billion. The previous record holder was Microsoft, which peaked on December 30, 1999 at $660 billion. Microsoft is valued at $257.1 billion today.
There are still analysts who believe that Apple has plenty of room to grow. Craig Berger from FBR Capital Markets said that he believes that Apple could sell 250 million iPhone 5 handsets. He expects that the device will deliver a profit of about $47 billion for Apple. The new phone is expected to launch on September 12, with sales starting on September 21.
Apple's valuation is well ahead of other industry giants such as GE ($221.0 billion) or Exxon Mobil ($406.0 billion). It is unfortunate that Steve Jobs was not given the time to enjoy this day, which surely would have been reason to reflect on the day he was fired from the company he co-founded. Another moment also worth looking back on is from April 21, 1997 when Steve Jobs answered a rude question from a person in the audience who carried the general sentiment that Jobs was not up to the task to lead Apple into a new era.
If we have learned something, then it is clearly the fact that Jobs's vision of a cohesive product environment resonates with consumers and is the foundation for huge financial success.