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iPad release pushes Apple shares up to US$600

No strangers to success, technology giant Apple has had a big 24 hours.

As Aimee already reported, we checked out the release of the new iPad earlier today (March 16) – but the story that caught my interest was the success of the company on the stock market.

Shares in Apple reached as high as $600.01 overnight, as investors braced themselves for the latest tablet to hit the shelves.

The correlation between the iconic device and the stock exchange is more obvious that you would think – back in February, rumours of the new iPad helped to drive up Apple's share price to $500.

Just 19 months ago – before the release of the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4 – shares were valued at $300.

And financial experts predict that the company's value only has one way to go – up.

According to global financial services firm Morgan Stanley, Apple shares could reach up to $960 by March 2013 if market conditions remain positive.

Analyst Katy Huberty believes that as long as the company "maintains its market dominance with [a] lower priced iPhone, iPad shipment upside, and growth acceleration in China driven in part by carrier expansion", Apple fans and investors will continue to reap the rewards.

Ms Huberty added that there are many people who continue to "underestimate" Apple's pulling power.

The company's impact on the industry has now reached such a monumental level that it is now worth almost as much as the entire US retail sector combined.

"Apple sold more iPhones in the fourth quarter than the number of babies born in the whole world," the New Mexico Business Weekly wrote (March 15).

"If this keeps going, how long before the USA could become the United States of Apple?"

Posted by Elise Ferrari