TWELVE ZEROS

Apple just became America’s first trillion-dollar company

Stoked.
Stoked.
Image: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
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After a record financial quarter—and expectations of new iPhones in the fall—investors briefly pushed Apple’s market capitalization over $1 trillion today (Aug. 2).

To visualize how many zeroes that is, let’s write it out in full:

$1,000,000,000,000

Apple tallied a record $53.3 billion in revenue for the last quarter, and made $11.5 billion in profit—a 32% increase in profit over the same quarter last year. This was during the quarter that’s seen as “slow,” as it falls before the season when Apple typically releases a slate of new products.

While an American company had never been valued at $1 trillion, Apple is not the first in the world to cross this milestone—Chinese oil company PetroChina hit $1 trillion in market cap in 2007. (It has since crashed and lost 80% of its valuation.) Privately held Aramco, the Saudi oil giant, valued at $2 trillion by investors, is not yet listed publicly.

Another way to attempt to show how massive an amount the number one trillion represents, consider that the average apple picker in the US picks about 15,500 lbs of apples per day. To pick 1 trillion pounds, it would take about 176,756 years.

Correction: The number of years it would take to pick one trillion pounds of apples was miscalculated, and has been corrected.