“Before Oct. 23, 2001, Apple’s key products had been a mix of Mac computers and ‘other’ service revenue,” Brian Stoffel writes for The Motley Fool. “At the time, the company was valued at $6 billion — roughly equivalent to where travel site TripAdvisor sits today. But when the sun rose on Oct. 23, the company’s trajectory — in the eyes of both investors and consumers — arguably changed forever. It was the day Steve Jobs debuted the iPod. While the device is largely obsolete today, the idea of having ‘1,000 songs in your pocket’ was revolutionary at the time.”

“Today, Apple is the most valuable company in the world,” Stoffel writes. “A simple 9% run-up in the stock would make it the world’s first trillion-dollar company.”

Stoffel writes, “In honor of the remarkable 17-year run the stock has been on — during which it delivered a 16,000% return — here are the five stages that led to this momentous landmark.”

• The dawn of the iPod
• The era of the iPhone
• The economic recovery and introduction of the iPad
• The hangover
• Services: Booming growth and a widening moat

Read more, and see the graphs, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Steve’s amazing machine is just getting started!

The only thing that can stop Apple are Apple themselves.