Alphabet set to reign over Apple for good

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Chesnot | Getty Images

Alphabet passed Apple in market capitalization Thursday to become the world's most valuable publicly traded company, a feat it accomplished once before this year before retreating back to the No. 2 spot. The early take from experts is that it is only a matter time before the internet conglomerate takes over the title for good.

The Google parent overtook the iPhone seller for a single day in early February before Apple made a comeback the very next trading day. Apple initially surpassed Exxon Mobil as the largest company in 2012. The two companies jockeyed back and forth a few times during 2013 until the tech juggernaut pulled away from the pack ... until now.

This year, Apple shares have cratered by 14 percent, more than double the loss for Alphabet's stock, on concerns that the new iPhone 7 will fail to reignite sales growth. That worry was specifically behind the drop Thursday in Apple.

Alphabet closed Thursday worth $494.9 billion, topping Apple's $494.8 billion market cap.