How Much Is $1 Trillion, Apple?


An Apple store stands in lower Manhattan on Aug. 2, 2018 in New York City. That day, the technology company and iPhone maker became the first American public company to cross $1 trillion in value. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

One trillion is so much bigger than you think.

Apple officially became the first company to be valued at $1 trillion when its shares hit $207.04 on Aug. 2, 2018. You might dismiss the achievement as just another inevitable milestone in the history of rich people getting richer. But we dug up some wild facts and figures to put those trillion bucks into perspective.

This Buzzfeed video gives a primer on the true bigness of a trillion. For example, 1 million seconds is a mere 12 days, while 1 billion seconds is a whopping 31 years. How long is 1 trillion seconds? Wait for it ... more than 30,000 years!

And get this — if you laid 1 trillion dollar bills end to end, they would stretch nearly 97 million miles (156 million kilometers), greater than the distance from the Earth to the sun!

But let's get back to the true value of that line of George Washingtons stretching to the stars. If you happened to have $1 trillion in the bank, what could you buy?

So, what does it mean that Apple, a single company that makes smartphones, tablets and computers, is valued at $1 trillion? How does that compare to the valuations of other big-name brands and industries? For that, we turned to this visualization by The New York Times, where we learned that Apple is worth:

  • More than 111 of its fellow S&P 500 companies combined. Among those are brands like Under Armour ($8.2 billion), News Corp ($9.9 billion) and Akamai Technologies ($12.2 billion)
  • More than all the major automakers in the world, including Toyota, BMW and GM ($964 billion)
  • More than the entire U.S. media industry, including giants like Disney and Netflix ($848 billion)
  • Almost as much as all of the airlines and aviation companies worldwide, including Delta Airlines, Boeing and Lockheed Martin ($1.097 trillion)
  • Nearly as much as the biggest U.S. banks combined: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup ($1.168 trillion)

And if we look at nations, Apple's valuation is more than 5 percent of the U.S. GDP and bigger than the entire economies of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Sweden, to name just a few countries.

For one final dose of perspective on Apple's achievement, the first company to be valued at $1 billion was U.S. Steel all the way back in 1901. It took 117 more years for a company to break the $1 trillion barrier.


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