By Adam Satariano and Ryan Faughnder
Apple Inc. (AAPL) surpassed $700 in late trading yesterday after announcing record first-day orders for the latest iPhone, fueling optimism that the company will keep generating the revenue growth that transformed it from a niche computer manufacturer into the world’s most valuable business.
Shares climbed as high as $701.79 after reaching a record $699.78 at the close in New York. The stock has advanced 73 percent this year.
The iPhone 5, which features a bigger screen, faster chip and a lighter body, sold 2 million units in first-day orders, more than double a record set by the previous model, Apple said. Since its 2007 debut, the device has become Apple’s top-selling product, accounting for about two-thirds of profit. Signs of robust demand reinforced expectations that Apple will withstand accelerating competition from Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) and Google Inc. (GOOG) in the $219.1 billion smartphone market.