Google has finally ended Apple's most recent winning streak as the most valuable company in the world by market capitalization.
In 2011, the Cupertino, California-based company founded by Steve Jobs overtook Exxon Mobile as the most valuable company, and held that title firmly until Monday when after-hours trading showed that Google's parent company, Alphabet, had surged ahead. While after-hours values aren't actual values technically, it's a strong sign that tomorrow will show a new leader. The stock price surge came as a result of strong earnings.
Google has been ahead in the past. After its IPO in 2004, Google had a higher market cap than Apple, and held the edge until 2008. The two companies traded off for a while, until 2010, when the Steve Jobs-led Apple took a lead, thanks to the iPhone and the iPad.
The latest leapfrog comes following a massive surge in Google's value in July when shares jumped up significantly. At the same time, Apple has been lagging of late after the latest earnings report didn't meet investor expectations, probably due to iPhone market saturation. Since the iPhone is so instrumental in Apple's business, lower-than-expected sales have slightly dinged Apple's stock.