Early in 2020, Apple appeared to be caught in a horrible bind.
The initial spread of the novel coronavirus shut down the factories in China that assemble its iPhones and also closed its retail stores in a country that ranks as the company’s biggest market besides the US. Things looked even bleaker in March after the global pandemic shoved the US economy into what now looks to be its deepest downturn since the Great Depression nearly a century ago.
Since then, Apple has managed to shine amid the gloom, putting it on the cusp of becoming the first US company to boast a market value of $US2 trillion ($2.8 trillion), just two years after it became the first to reach $US1 trillion. With its stock already up 50 per cent this year, the only question among analysts is whether Apple will pass the $US2 trillion milestone before the release of its next-generation iPhones in October.
It looks like “a performance for the ages,” as Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives described it last week after Apple released unexpectedly strong earnings for an April-June quarter during which most US consumers were stuck at home and the company’s US stores were closed most of that time.