“As the digital advertising market booms and demand for smartphones wanes, Alphabet Inc. could soon dethrone Apple as the world’s most valuable company,” Michael Liedtke reports for The Associated Press. “If it happens, Alphabet will move to the head of the class just five months after Google reorganized itself under the holding company.”

“The Silicon Valley rivals could trade places as early as Friday, given how rapidly the financial gap between them is narrowing. At the end of trading on Thursday, Apple’s market value stood at $522 billion; Alphabet was worth $515 billion,” Liedtke reports. “That’s a dramatic swing from where things stood just 13 months ago. Apple then boasted a market value of $643 billion, almost twice Google Inc.’s $361 billion.”

Liedtke reports, “The company has struggled to come up with another trend-setting product amid slumping sales of its most important device — the nearly 9-year-old iPhone, which accounts for roughly two-thirds of Apple’s overall sales.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple just posted all-time record sales of iPhone, 74.779 million units in 91 days, and The Associated Press is reporting it as “slumping sales.” Keep that in mind when you read other articles from The Associated Press.

“Investors also have applauded the creation of Alphabet, which is structured to provide more information about the cost of the company’s experimental ventures into self-driving cars, Internet access services, health science and city management,” Liedtke reports. “All of those factors have helped lift Alphabet’s stock — previously Google’s — by 41 percent since the end of 2014.”

“It’s a potentially big shift for Apple, which has held bragging rights as the world’s most valuable company for most of the past four-and-a-half years. (ExxonMobil seized the high ground for a brief time in 2013),” Liedtke reports. “Alphabet would become the 12th company to rise to the most valuable spot, according to Standard & Poor’s.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Losing the title of “the world’s most valuable company,” will only ratchet up the pressure on Apple Inc.’s management. For Tim Cook, especially, there will be nowhere to hide from investors, especially with the stock doing so poorly. Market valuation is largely out of Cook’s direct control; execution, attention-to-detail, and properly-stocked launches are not.

If you bought AAPL one year ago today, you’re currently down $24.81 per share excluding dividends totaling a mere $1.56.

Alphabet Inc. close to snatching Apple’s crown as the world’s most valuable company – January 21, 2016
Is Alphabet Inc. about to dethrone Apple as the world’s most valuable company? – January 14, 2016
Apple could soon lose its place as world’s most valuable company to Google – January 13, 2016
Apple’s rotten year on Wall Street and, look out, here comes Google in the market cap race! – December 30, 2015
2015: Apple’s year in beta – December 29, 2015
​Apple’s dirty little secret: Sucky software – why Apple’s entire UX/UI team needs to be fired – November 19, 2015
What Steve Jobs gave Apple that Tim Cook cannot – November 18, 2015
Alternatives to Apple’s bloated iTunes – November 17, 2015
Apple’s new iPad Pro debuts with forced reboots, missing Apple Pencils – November 16, 2015
Apple’s perplexingly incomplete launch of the iPad Pro – November 16, 2015
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015
Apple’s major problem is Tim Cook – November 16, 2015
At Apple, it seems as if no one’s minding the store – November 13, 2015
Houston Chronicle’s Silverman reviews new Apple TV: This cake needed more baking – November 9, 2015
The new Apple TV has more rough edges than a sack of saw blades – November 3, 2015
Apple Music one month later: Not loving it, but I’ll be subscribing to it – August 10, 2015
The tragedy of iTunes: Nothing ‘just works’ – July 28, 2015
Apple Music, both on iOS and OS X, is an embarrassing and confusing mess – July 10, 2015
After many of complaints about Wi-Fi issues, Apple dumps discoveryd in latest OS X beta – May 27, 2015
OS X 10.10.2: Wi-Fi problems continue to plague some Mac users – January 30, 2015
The software and services that Apple needs to fix – January 14, 2015