Apple shares hit an all-time high today, underscoring the growing hype and anticipation over the company's next major product.
The stock reached a peak of $413.23 before retreating slightly to $411.63--still up nearly 3 percent from the previous day--at the close of the trading session. The company finished the day with a market value of $381.62 billion. Last month, it passed Exxon Mobile as the most valuable company in the country; the other major tech company, Microsoft, has a market capitalization of $228 billion.
That next major product driving the stock is almost certainly going to be the next iPhone, which got a fresh injection of hype after J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz issued a research note today detailing the iPhone 5, as well as a souped-up version of the current model called "iPhone 4-plus." The products are widely expected to launch some time next month.
The two iPhones, which many believe will be available on multiple carriers, suggests that Apple could sell even more phones than previously expected. Beyond AT&T and Verizon, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA are seen as also carrying Apple products.
The recent stock activity bodes well for Apple, which has had to deal with the official departure of Steve Jobs as chief executive. Last month, he stepped down as CEO and took over as chairman. That the stock has not only held up but advanced even higher bodes well for successor Tim Cook.
The rise also comes as Samsung Electronics has countered with legal action in South Korea and Australia today. A report says Samsung will attempt to ban the iPhone 5 from South Korea and has filed a counterclaim against Apple and iOS-based devices in Australia. The two companies have been embroiled in multiple lawsuits and complaints around the world.
Wall Street, however, has largely ignored news that would normally weigh on any other company. The common thinking is that Jobs and his management team have set up the company for years of product dominance, thanks to the success of the iPhone, and particularly with its hit iPad tablet.