What once started as a garage startup making personal computers 42 years ago has officially become the first private American business to reach a value of a trillion dollars. Although the founder, Steve Jobs, is no longer with the company, profits in 2018 reached a new high. While it seemed unlikely that the startup would make such history earlier in its career, the rapid growth seen over the last two decades gave some indication of the company’s future success.

Starting in 1976, the three founders of what was then Apple Computer, Inc. began designing and selling computers, creating strong revenue for the company. Within four years, the business went public and gained instant financial success. With their team of computer designers and their production line, Apple shipped new computers featuring innovative user interfaces and released marketing commercials that won widespread acclaim. However, high product prices and power struggles within the company led to deep issues that caused two of the three founders to resign in 1985, including Steve Jobs.

A little over ten years later, the CEO of Apple persuaded Jobs to come back by buying his computer and software company, NeXT. He immediately got back to work rebuilding Apple’s status and shortly after became the new CEO. By 2000, the company was valued at 5 billion dollars, and within a year, Apple’s retail stores opened.  

For many, Apple was solidified as a force to be reckoned with in 2001 with the release of iTunes and the iPod, which laid the basis for its business model. In 2007, after renaming the company to Apple Inc. to reflect its shifted focus toward consumer electronics, the iPhone was introduced giving way to the 11 year period that saw a rise in company value from $72 to $173 billion. To this day, the iPhone 6 is the most sold phone ever.

Over the following years, Jobs and his team continually built the company as it surpassed goal after goal. With the launch of the iPad in 2010, the company reached $300 billion, $500 billion by 2016, and then $600 billion in 2016, shortly after new CEO Tim Cook released the Apple Watch.

Year after year, Apple releases new phone and computer upgrades and models, adding $600 billion to the company’s value.  As it’s market cap continued to climb, Apple’s revenue continually strengthened. In November of 2017, Apple’s value had hit $900 billion leading many to predict Apple to be the first to be valued at one trillion dollars, although competitors, such as Amazon, were not far behind.

In the last 12 months, Apple saw a gain of 30 percent in revenue, 22% in 2018 alone. In August, company stock gained 2.92 percent pushing its share price to $207.05, helping to push the company across the finish line in the race to $1 trillion.