By Leon Watson
PUBLISHED: 04:05 EST, 7 April 2012 | UPDATED: 04:05 EST, 7 April 2012
Apple will become the world’s first trillion-dollar company when its shares top $1,000 each, Wall Street analysts have predicted.
The technology giant’s shares were worth $633.38 last week as its stock price rose above Google’s for the first time.
Brian White, of Topeka Capital Markets, then claimed Apple’s sky-high share price will hit four figures within 12 months – making the company worth $1trillion.
He said in his report: ‘Apple fever is spreading like a wildfire around the world.’
Gene Munster, of Piper Jaffray, followed that up by claiming Apple stock will hit $1,000 – but by 2014.
The company, based in Cupertino, California, is already the most valuable company in the world currently valued at $590.82billion (£372billion).
Just a year ago the shares were changing hands at $341. In January Apple revealed it had more than doubled its profits to $13.06billion, compared with $6billion for the same quarter in 2010.
That was driven by record sales of 37.04m iPhones in the final quarter of 2011, 128 per cent up on the previous year.
Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive who took over from the late co-founder Steve Jobs, said: ‘We could have sold more if we’d had more supply. We could not be happier.’
The company also sold a record 15.43m iPads over the quarter, more than double the number of a year ago.
Research group Gartner also said the company overtook Samsung as the world’s top smartphone maker last quarter.
Apple’s growth is expected to be driven by sales in China, where January’s launch of the iPhone 4S triggered a near riot in Beijing.
Earlier this year Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty predicted Apple could sell 40m iPhones in China this year.
Apple is also expected to move into the TV market after the launch of its set-top box Apple TV.
In his report, Mr Muster said: ‘The key risk to the Apple story is pace of innovation.
‘While we have not seen anything to make us believe innovation will slow, it is the fundamental barrier that stands between shares at $600 and at $1,000.
‘Apple has won the ecosystem and interface war, and must continue to innovate around its leadership position to grow the business.
‘Going forward, consumer interest in owning future Apple products is a key metric to measuring Apple’s pace of innovation.’