Apple has become the world’s first publicly traded company to be valued at $1 trillion.

The financial high marks a milestone for the tech giant that has redefined society since two mavericks named Steve started the company 42 years ago.

Coincidentally, the news comes as a report by Ofcom found a fifth of British adults now spend more than 40 hours a week online with smartphones being checked every 12 minutes.

The peak reached on Thursday seemed unimaginable in 1997 when Apple teetered on the edge of bankruptcy, with its stock trading for less than $1.

To survive, Apple brought back its once-exiled co-founder Steve Jobs as interim CEO and turned to its arch-rival Microsoft for a $150 million cash infusion to help pay its bills.

Mr Jobs eventually introduced such popular products as the iPod and iPhone that have driven Apple’s rise.

Apple shares rose 2.7% to an all-time high of $207.05 at around midday.

They are up 22% so far this year while other technology companies also saw their shares soar despite the market being shaken by escalating tensions between the US and China.

The milestone marks the financial fruit of stylish technology that has redefined society. Credit: PA

The spike in value for Apple shows how overwhelmingly digital of an age we live in, but the iPhone maker isn't the only tech company to rake in the cash.

In fact, according to investment magazine Fortune, the top five most valuable companies are part of the tech sector.

  • Apple

  • Amazon.com

  • Alphabet - Google

  • Microsoft

  • Facebook