That is how much Apple is worth now. As its stock price crossed $207.05 on Thursday, it became the first company in the world to be valued at $1 trillion on above. Amazon, Google and Microsoft are next in line to the cross this benchmark. But does this really mean anything and does it change anything at all? Not really, it seems.
“This is as much about bragging rights as it is about valuation. Nothing really changes other than the fame and perception,” says Vivek Wadhwa, technology entrepreneur, academic and author. “For the billionaires of the tech industry, what else is left other than ego and bragging rights?”
Last week, analysts were betting on Amazon to reach the mark first — it has to cross $2060.89; it is at $1,828.57 now. But Apple’s positive performance in Q3 gave it the push Amazon did not get. Anyway, Wadhwa, who responded to queries from indianexpress.com days before Apple crossed the mark, thinks it is a more creditable win for the innovative Apple compared to the aggressive Amazon. “Amazon is a predator that is eating every industry in its path, while Apple has set new standards for the industry in product design for the very rich. I would give greater credit to Apple for its achievements.”
But will this mean Apple, or Amazon for that matter, will become more responsible companies? Wadhwa, who is a Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School and Carnegie Mellon University, says that while you might expect so, neither company has done much for their own communities. ”Amazon is becoming famous for short-changing workers and fighting Seattle on minimum wage. Apple does little for Silicon Valley,” he says. In his opinion, CSR are foreign concepts to both of these companies. “So don’t expect anything to change.”
Apple worth $1 trillion: What next
The other question that arises is what next? Is the next trillion, for instance, going to be easier? “It is surely going to be harder for Apple because it has to keep innovating. Amazon can use its monopoly powers to eat everything in its path,” explains Wadhwa.
Wadhwa warns that Amazon is “a danger for India”. “With the immense power it has, it can dominate several industries; it has more money and power than governments do,” he says, adding that it could rival the East India Company in its ability to dominate.