Apple has officially beat out Microsoft to become the most valuable public company of all time.
The iPhone maker reached a record market capitalisation of $US623 billion Monday afternoon, the highest of any publicly traded company in history. Apple stole the crown from fellow tech giant Microsoft, which had held the record for 12 years after reaching $US621 billion in December 1999.
The record was set after Apple stock surged to a record US$663, before dropping slightly to $US662 Monday afternoon.
Anticipation of the upcoming iPhone 5, which Apple is reportedly unveiling September 12, is likely the driving force behind the spike in its stock. The new phone is expected to be thinner and faster compared to the four prior-generation iPhones, and also run iOS 6, Apple's next-generation mobile operating system. Support for 4G LTE networks and near-field communications technology are also widely expected.
Reports have also surfaced suggesting Apple is prepping a lower-cost, 7-inch iPad for the end of the year, another factor fueling its rising stock.
Apple's market cap surpasses the $US405 billion held by Exxon Mobile, the world's second most valuable company, by more than $US200 billion or nearly 53 percent.
Analysts have predicted Apple’s share price could rise to over $US1000 ($A962) per share in just two years, making it on track to become the world's first trillion-dollar company.