Apple surpasses Samsung, becoming the world's largest smartphone maker for the first time in the last ten years, reveals a study by City Index. The research traces the evolution of corporate giants over two decades, emphasising the technology sector's unprecedented dominance, encapsulated by Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Tesla.

City Index reveals the world’s biggest companies today by market cap, and how the landscape of corporate giants has changed in the last 20 years. In an era rife with smartphones and AI, technology dominated the stock market in 2023, with seven technology companies including Apple, Amazon and Tesla occupying the top 10. 

With a market cap of $3.03 trillion, Apple is the most valuable country according to the index. Founded in 1976, Apple made its stock market debut in 1980 and only in 2011 secured the title of the world's most valuable company, a position it maintained throughout the 2010s. Surpassing the $1 trillion mark in 2018 and doubling it in just two years, Apple now constitutes a staggering 11% of the United States' GDP.

Microsoft secures the second position in the top most valuable company in 2023, with a market cap of $2.51 trillion. Fueled by its market-leading Microsoft Azure cloud services and a stake in OpenAI, Microsoft's value has tripled since its dominance in 2000 when it was worth $586 billion (equivalent to $1.03 trillion in 2023). 

Top 10 tech companies: A historical view

The research takes a historical plunge, comparing the top companies of 2000 to today. In 2000, Microsoft reigned supreme with a $586 billion valuation. Technology companies, including Cisco and Intel, held half of the top 10 spots. The contrast with 2023 is stark, with the technology sector, led by Apple, Amazon, and Tesla, dominating seven out of the top 10 positions. 

On the other hand, Microsoft reached the zenith of the stock market in 2000, only to be severely affected by the dot-com crash. By March 2001, its value plummeted to $258 billion, less than half of its peak. The United States vs. Microsoft case, accusing the company of monopolisation, played a significant role in this downturn. However, by 2003, Microsoft reclaimed its status as the world's biggest company, reigning until Apple's monumental rise in the early 2010s.

City Index underscores the opportunities for traders, enabling them to engage in both long and short positions on major stocks and global indices through spread bets or CFDs. The dynamic nature of the market, shaped by tech giants, offers a spectrum of possibilities for investors navigating this ever-evolving landscape.