Apple Topples Microsoft as World's Biggest Tech Firm

Apple has surpassed rival Microsoft to become the largest technology company in the world by market value.

At the end trading on Wednesday, the total value of Apple stood at $222 billion, $3 billion more than Microsoft, which finished trading at $219 billion. The figure makes Apple the second most valuable US firm after oil company Exxon Mobil.

In fact, the day's trading saw a fall in the value for both companies, but while Microsoft's value dropped by 4 per cent, Apple's fell by just 0.4 per cent.

Despite finishing on a higher trading value than its rival, Apple's profits are not as high as those of Microsoft, whose last annual report saw profits reach $14.6 billion. Apple managed a significantly lower $5.7 billion.

Microsoft also reported an greater annual revenue than Apple, receiving $58.4 billion to Apple's $36.5 billion.

The turnaround in Apple's fortunes has been spectacular. Apple was declared out of business almost a decade ago, but a resurgence now sees it rivalling Microsoft again.

Many industry experts have put Apple's renewal down to the release of the iPod in 2001, believing its popularity to have encouraged people into buying Apple computers once more.

The market value of Apple shares is nearly ten times greater than it was ten years ago. According to the data available, the last time Apple boasted a value higher than Microsoft was in 1989.