Apple has become the most valuable company in the world once again after the tech giant reached a record-high share price on Thursday and Friday.
Apple shares closed at $157.87 after reaching an intraday high of about $158 at 3:57pm EST. The Cupertino company's bull run extended through Friday's close, achieving an all-time high of $160.55, Yahoo! Finance reported. This made Apple reach a world-leading market valuation of $2.59 trillion against the erstwhile topnotcher Microsoft Corporation's $2.56 trillion, The Street noted.
Acceleration of Apple Car Development Drives Apple Stock Price to Record Highs
Why are investors flocking to the Apple stock? They are seemingly motivated to invest after the company signified its intention to speed up development of its much-ballyhooed electric car while refocusing efforts to feature full self-driving capabilities, Bloomberg reported. This should encourage more investors to put more money into the stock.
For years, Apple Car engineers had considered two directions in building the vehicle. One having limited self-driving capabilities--focusing on steering and acceleration--or another featuring full self-driving ability that don't need human intervention.
Now, under the leadership of Apple Watch software executive Kevin Lynch, the engineers had chosen to focus on the second option. Bloomberg quoted sources as saying that Lynch wants his team to build the EV with a full self-driving system in its first version.
After Bloomberg reported the news, Apple shares surged 2.4 percent en route to its record-breaking high on Thursday.
This move is the latest transition for the Apple Car initiative, known internally as "Project Titan" or the Special Projects group. This effort went into several strategy shifts and executive changes since it began in 2014.
Achieving full self-driving capabilities remain to be that "Holy Grail" for automakers struggling to develop a workable, effective system. Several auto and tech companies have attempted to offer such features, but genuine autonomous capabilities have been unattainable as of late.
Even the EV market leader Tesla is still years away from rolling out full self-driving cars. Google parent company Alphabet, Inc.'s Waymo had endured a number of executive turnovers in its development of a full self-driving car. Uber Technologies, Inc., on the other hand, sold its autonomous driving division in 2020.
Apple Speeds Up Apple Car Release to 2025
Apple is aiming to launch its self-driving car in 2025, which is sooner than the five- or seven-year timeline expected by engineers earlier this 2021. However, hitting that four-year target largely depends on Apple's ability to produce a genuine full self-driving system in that timeframe. This could be attainable since the company had moved forward in developing chip technology to build the system. If they fail, Apple would settle with a vehicle with less capabilities.
Apple's EV will have no steering wheel and pedals, featuring interiors designed for hands-off driving.
In addition to news about an accelerated development of the Apple Car, the stock surge could also be attributed to optimism about iPhone sales during the holidays, and the company's opportunities in the metaverse and mixed reality, The Street noted.