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Apple No Longer World's Most Valuable Company

Apple is no longer the world's most valuable company, with oil and gas company Exxon Mobil's market capitalization exceeding that of the iPhone maker's.

The former's shares further decreased by more than $11 to settle for a share price of $439.23, resulting in a market capitalization of $412.7 billion. With a 16-cent gain in Exxon Mobil's stock, the firm's market cap was propelled to $417.2 billion.

Apple had boasted a market value of approximately $623 billion back in the August of 2012, which is when pre-iPhone 5 launch hype was escalating; the firm's shares then exceeded $700.

Following Apple announcing its 2012 fourth quarter results, its stock declined by 12 percent, which cut $50 billion in its market capitalization. Although it sold 47.8 million iPhone units, analysts were expecting more than 50 million due to the iPhone 5.

Since the launch of the iPhone 4 and its successor, the iPhone 4S, Apple has enjoyed astronomical success. Its profits surmounted the entire PC industry, with the company later becoming the world's most valuable firm due to the hype of the iPhone 5. Due to its success, an Apple subsidiary was named the world's largest hedge fund; the company had over $100 billion in cash.

Analysts strongly tipped the iPhone 5 launch to make Apple the first company in history to have a market capitalization of $1 trillion. However, after the smartphone's launch, stock prices have been continuously declining.

After the iPad Mini and iPad 4's launch, it suffered its worst stock price decline in four years. When 2013 arrived, reports emerged of Apple having reduced component and screen orders by 50 percent for the iPhone 5 due to weakening demand, although CEO Tim Cook has downplayed the speculation, but didn't deny nor confirm it.

Apple has also experienced the effects of Samsung's dominance in the market, as well as the performance of Google's Android platform.

Reports have suggested that a cheaper iPhone unit is in the offing, with a former CEO even stressing the significance of such a product. However, Apple responded by stating that it will never launch a cheap iPhone. It also defended the iPad Mini's premium price.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak even admitted that he's worried about the innovation at the company he helped form with Steve Jobs, which followed an analyst stating that the firm's creativity is clearly "sputtering".

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