Many will say this change, years in the making by the index committee at Dow Jones, marks a passing of the baton. Old Ma Bell's days are over, with its landline and cellular business quickly becoming a commodity.
And Apple is the perfect company for its time, they will say. It's the maker of the Internet ecosystem of hardware and software that we can't live without.
Time and time again, new trends replace old ones in the Dow. For example, take Cisco replacing General Motors in 2009 or Nike replacing Alcoa in 2013.
But this theory is not one to base your investing on, history shows.
Alcoa is up 75 percent since that exit. Hewlett-Packard, replaced by Visa in 2013, is up almost 60 percent since then. Citigroup, replaced by Travelers in the wake of the financial crisis in 2009, is up 58 percent.