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Apple's value tops $500 billion, worth more than Poland

Tech giant closes in on Microsoft's $600 billion record.

Apple's stock market value topped half a trillion dollars for the first time earlier today.

As reported by CNN, the world's most valuable company is now worth as much as the gross domestic product of Poland, Sweden, Saudi Arabia or Belgium.

Only four other companies in history have passed the landmark figure - Microsoft, ExxonMobil, Cisco and General Electric.

Microsoft is the only outfit to ever hit $600 billion, though its current value sits at around $267 billion. That target must surely now be in Apple's sights - its total sales were up 73 per cent to $127.8 billion last year, suggesting it's still in the ascendancy.

If measured purely by revenue, Samsung is the world's biggest tech company, though Apple is on track to seize that crown too.

The tech behemoth is widely expected to unveil the next iteration of its mega-selling iPad tablet at a press event in San Francisco next Wednesday.