Apple stock hits record high, near $700September 14, 2012: 10:53 AM ET
Another day, and another record for Apple's stock.
Shares of Apple (AAPL) topped their day-old all-time high, hitting $696.82 Friday amid strong enthusiasm for the iPhone 5.
Apple unveiled its new faster and thinner iPhone earlier this week, and pre-orders for the new device sold out in less than an hour when they began Friday at 12:01 a.m. Pacific (3 a.m. ET). Last year, it took 22 hours for pre-orders to sell out.
Analysts on Wall Street are predicting the new smartphone will be a major success.
"Unlike last year's release of the iPhone 4S, this year's iPhone 5 announcement comes as a significant departure from previous models," said Daniel Gleeson, mobile analyst for IHS. "The addition of a new, larger screen is a fundamental change in product design. Furthermore, the iPhone 5 is the first member of Apple's smartphone line to feature 4G long term evolution (LTE) connectivity, accelerating data speeds dramatically compared to previous models. These major improvements will drive strong sales for the iPhone 5."
IHS forecasts that the iPhone 5 will push Apple's smartphone shipments up 60% in 2012 from a year earlier. In fact, IHS expects the fourth quarter will be Apple's biggest quarter for iPhone sales ever.
The gains in Apple's stock brought the company's value to a record $653 billion. Last month, Apple overtook Microsoft (MSFT) as the most valuable publicly trading company of all time, without factoring inflation.