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Apple is now worth $2 trillion — here’s when it may be worth $3 trillion

Apple (AAPL) just kicked down the door of a major valuation milestone and its next big round number valuation may not be far off the not-too-distant future.

The tech giant on Wednesday became the first U.S. company to surpass the $2 trillion market cap level. Apple shares hit the mark by surpassing $467.77 early on in the trading session, and then extended gains into the afternoon.

Apple’s achievement comes quickly after the company’s valuation eclipsed $1.5 trillion in June.

For long-time Apple watchers, the next stop on the Apple freight train is in sight.

“By 2023, we believe given super-cycle potential and services business,” Wedbush Securities analyst tech analyst Dan Ives told Yahoo Finance via email when — and why — Apple may hit a $3 trillion valuation. Ives has consistently said that Apple would climb over the $2 trillion valuation level by the end of 2020. It did so about four months ahead of Ives’ schedule.

Bulls such as Ives point to several reasons to stay long Apple.

First, there is the likelihood of an aggressive upgrade cycle for Apple’s initial 5G iPhone, slated to arrive this year. Second, Apple’s services business remains a cash flow that allows the company to reinvest in the future of tech and buy back its stock. And finally, an upcoming Aug. 31 stock split could pave the way for more retail investors to get involved in Apple.

“While the soft macro and COVID backdrop are weighing on near-term consumer demand trends, Apple has a “once in a decade” opportunity over the next 12 to 18 months as we estimate roughly 350 million of Cupertino’s 950 million iPhones worldwide are in the window of an upgrade opportunity,” Ives wrote in a note to clients earlier this month.

Ives added, “Taking a step back we believe iPhone 12 represents the most significant product cycle for Cook & Co. since iPhone 6 in 2014 and will be another defining chapter in the Apple growth story looking ahead despite a softer consumer spending environment in our opinion. We still believe many on the Street are underestimating the massive pent-up demand around this super cycle for Apple.”

Yahoo Finance tech editor Dan Howley contributed to this story.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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