What's Apple Worth?

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Apple's market caphas topped a half trillion dollars.

Many analysts say the company'samazing run isn't over yet, as Apple's price to earnings ratio is still historically low.

I'll admit it's hard for me to take in.

Five hundred billion dollars for a company which makes gadgets and delivers media? I have the same reaction whenever I see a 747 take flight. On paper these things make sense, yet I can't quite believe it when I see it with my own eyes.

In trying to get my head around this, I asked myself, what does a half trillion dollars mean?

It's enough to pay every American $1,600.

It equals the entire GDP of Egypt, nearly the GDP of South Africa, and a whole lot more than the GDPs of Switzerland or Sweden.

If you spent the net worth of the richest billionairesin the world, you'd have to burn through the top 14 fortunes before you got to a half trillion dollars (the fact that 14 people can be worth a combined $500 billion is nearly as breathtaking as Apple's success).

A half trillion is more than enough to buy every sports teamin the world.

It could pay for 100 trips to Mars, if SpaceX founder Elon Muskgets his way.

It could get rid of nearly half the U.S. budgetdeficit this year.

It's enough to buy a year's supply of gasolinefor the United States...even at current prices.

Finally, how much is Apple worth? Enough to buy a billion iPads, one for every seventh person on Earth. And maybe a few Martians.

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