Enlarge / Apple CEO Tim Cook watches as the iPhone X goes on sale at an Apple store in Palo Alto, California on November 3, 2017.
Apple's market capitalization reached $ 2 trillion on Wednesday. This made Apple the first company outside of Saudi Arabia to reach this milestone. Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, was briefly valued at $ 2 trillion last December, but Apple surpassed its value last month.
The new milestone comes just two years after Apple first achieved a market capitalization of $ 1 trillion. This is especially noteworthy given that Apple's market cap was still below $ 1 trillion in March when fears of a coronavirus-induced recession weighed on stocks across the board.
Although the coronavirus has caused economic hardship for many companies and workers, it has been a boon for Apple and other large technology companies. Consumers who still have work and are unable to spend money on experiences like dining out or vacations have turned to digital devices instead.
The result: Apple had strong sales and profits in its final quarter, which ended in June. The company had sales of nearly $ 60 billion, up 11 percent from the year-ago quarter. Profit was $ 11.2 billion compared to $ 10 billion a year earlier.
For the January through March quarter that forced many companies to shut down, Apple had sales of $ 58 billion, a slight year-over-year increase.
The record rating is a justification for Apple CEO Tim Cook. Nine years ago, Cook took over the management of a troubled Steve Jobs. Apple under Cook has launched fewer breakthrough products than it did during Steve Jobs' 14-year tenure. The Apple Watch and AirPods are probably Apple's most notable product launches since 2011.
However, Cook has used its supply chain expertise to gradually expand Apple's product line while maintaining the high quality of Apple devices. He's also found new ways to monetize Apple's hardware with services like Apple Music. As a result, the iPhone and other Apple products have continued to generate massive profits for Apple shareholders.
Apple's greatness – and in particular its complete control over the iPhone app ecosystem – has made it some enemies. Last month, members of Congress, along with three other big tech executives, shared with Cook about the way Apple manages its App Store. The hearing was part of a year-long investigation into competition in the technology sector.
More recently, Epic Games sued Apple's policy of demanding a 30 percent cut in all in-app purchases. Epic argues that the policy is against antitrust law.