At the beginning of last month Apple briefly became the world's most valuable company, albeit for just a short while? Two days ago we also reported that Apple's shares had hit an all-time high (despite Steve Jobs' departure) once again taking it temporarily to the top (based on market capitalisation).
With the iPhone 5, iPad 2 successor and maybe an LTE iPhone to be released within the next six months or so, Apple could well overcome Exxon and establish itself as the world's top company outright. This observation comes from the SpeakDollars forum (opens in new tab), where it was previously suggested that the iPhone 5's delay was nothing more than part of a marketing plan and deliberate strategy by Apple.
The iPhone 5 should be released in October, according to the majority of tech authorities, and if Apple sticks to their yearly upgrade schedule, then in 2012 we should see another iPhone. However, a launch in June would cramp the space for the iPhone 5, which is why we're speculating that Apple may change its launch month for the iPhone to October. This would leave enough breathing space for next month's release and allow Apple to cash in on the lucrative holiday season.
Let's not forget about the iPad 2's successor, which, if it achieves the same impressive leap forward that the iPad 2 made, will surely replicate the excellent sales figures, and maybe help Apple establish itself as the top earning company in the world.