Apple passes Microsoft as world’s biggest firm as investors cheer iPhone-maker’s AI plans

Apple has leapfrogged Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable company as investors cheered its plans to use artificial intelligence (AI).

On Wall Street, the iPhone maker’s shares rose more than 5pc to a record high above $218 – giving it a value of more than $3.3 trillion, or £2.6 trillion.

That means it was last night worth more than Microsoft, which is valued at just under $3.3 trillion (£2.5 trillion).

And chip maker Nvidia – also worth more than $3 trillion (£2.3 trillion) – remains the world’s third most valuable company.

In comparison, the entire FTSE 100 of the London stock market’s leading firms is valued at slightly more than £2 trillion.

Big Apple: In a bumper session on Wall Street, Apple’s shares rose more than 5% to a record high above $218- giving the iPhone maker a value of more than $3.3trillion

Apple shares have now risen more than 12 per cent since Monday when it announced it has joined forces with OpenAI, giving iPhone users access to use its ChatGPT AI technology. 

The surge has added £290billion to its value.

With a battle for AI dominance raging between US tech giants, Apple chief executive Tim Cook set out how the firm would incorporate it into its devices.

And he confirmed speculation that it is integrating its products with ChatGPT.

This will allow users to ask a question via its Siri feature and the AI chatbot will give a response, which can be used to create a bedtime story for children and add pictures – at no extra cost to customers.

Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities, said: ‘All those questions about Apple lagging from an AI technology standpoint were answered.’

But he added that Apple, Nvidia and Microsoft would continue to battle it out to win the AI race over the next year.

Microsoft first passed Apple’s market cap earlier this year.

And this month Nvidia briefly topped Apple’s value before dropping back.

But some experts have said Apple’s rally may be a poisoned chalice.

Dan Coatsworth, analyst at AJ Bell, said: ‘Apple overtaking Microsoft puts it under the spotlight. 

The iPhone maker has been the laggard among the mega-cap tech names this year due to concerns about sales of its core product in China and being left behind in the AI race.

‘The former issue has still to be resolved, but progress with AI means it is now seen as a catch-up candidate, hence the rally.’