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Breaking: Apple becomes most valuable company in history

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

Apple Inc. became the most valuable company in history earlier today when its valuation reached US $621.64 billion. Apple's stock reached an all time high of $664.65 per share Monday afternoon riding the expectations for a huge launch of  its as-of-yet-unannounced iPhone model for 2012.

Apple breaks the record set previously by rival Microsoft in 1999 when that company's value peaked at $618.9 billion.

Reports that the next iPhone is coming in September have heightened interest in the product. The next iPhone is expected to have an all new design and improved features over last year's model, many hope it will bring the right amount of features and improvements to rival or even surpass competing smartphones in the market today.

It was a year ago that Apple became the most valuable company in the USA when its valuation hit $346.74 billion, surpassing long time leader Exxon Mobil. Apple has enjoyed a constant surge of profit behind various groundbreaking devices. Originally a computer company that created the Macintosh, it was the iMac and the iPod music player that brought the company back from the brink of bankruptcy in the mid-90's.

Establishing a retail store presence and successive market defining products such as the iPhone, the MacBook Air and the iPad helped Apple grow as the technology and consumer electronics powerhouse it is today. This news comes at a time when Apple is caught in various unprecedented patent cases as it tries to protect its intellectual property and the desig and functionality of its products from competitors.

The new iPhone is seen as the lynchpin of Apple's continued success and dominance over the smartphone market. The iPhone's general design has remained unchanged since 2010 and its screen size has stayed at 3.5 inches since it was first launched in 2007. Improved battery life, a larger screen with a Retina Display, 4G-LTE data connectivity and improved cameras, processors and memory capacity are all expected with the next revision.

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