Apple is first public company worth $1 trillion

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Tech giant Apple has become the first U.S. company to top $1 trillion in market value.

With a market cap of $1 trillion, Apple has a value greater than the gross domestic product of most countries in the world, including Turkey, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan.

Other technology companies with high-flying, trendy stocks are expected to join Apple in the $1 trillion club before long.

Jobs, who died in 2011, was succeeded as chief executive by Tim Cook, who has doubled the company's profits but struggled to develop a new product to replicate the society-altering success of the iPhone, which has seen sales taper off in recent years.

One of three founders, Jobs was driven out of Apple in the mid-1980s, only to return a decade later and rescue the computer company from near bankruptcy.

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The stock was last up 2.4 per cent at US$206.41, a hair below US$1 trillion.

Other companies have come close to the mark, but no public United States company has hit a $1 trillion valuation. Jim Cramer, for example, recently argued that Apple shares could start approaching $300.

It began an ascent on Tuesday after reporting solid results in its latest quarter. After launching the iPhone - arguably its most famous product - in 2007, Apple now churns out over 40 million of the devices every quarter, helping it rake in $254.63 billion in revenue a year ago.

The rise is even more astonishing - 50,000% - since the company first listed in 1980. Amazon is valued at $870 billion, Google-parent Alphabet has a market valuation of $850 million and Microsoft's market cap is at just under $815 billion.