Alphabet, the parent company of Google (ahem) has surprised many industry commentators by becoming the world’s most valuable company after a report has revealed its latest earnings.

Google

According to the report, Alphabet made a profit of $4.9bn for the fourth quarter of last year, and Alphabet is now worth $568 billion compared to Apple, which currently has a value of $535 billion.

The news didn’t come from nowhere though.  The value of Google’s shares has risen by 44% since July 2015 while in the same amount of time, Apple’s shares dropped by 16%.

Alphabet’s new claim to the most valuable company title has been seen by some as a passing of the technology baton.

It is not however the first time that Google has been considered more valuable than Apple. But the last time the shift occurred was back in February 2010 when both companies were worth less than $200 billion. Of course, then, Apple had yet to release their first iPad, and the current iPhone on the market was the 3GS, and the humble Mac was still the company’s biggest production item, accounting for one-third of revenue. Steve Jobs was also still at the helm.

The news has surprised some in the industry. Alphabet had  worried investors over the sheer number of technology gambles it has been part of in recent years; such as helium powered internet balloons, driverless cars, and the eponymous Google Glass.

Apple and Google have overtaken each other several times over the years, especially between 2008 and 2010.  Then Apple dominated for the next 5 years, rocketing from a value of $180 billion to$650 billion by the end of 2012. In September of that year, Apple were worth $400 billion more than Google.   flopped multiple times between 2008 and early 2010, before Apple went on a historic tear, jumping from $180 billion in value to over $650 billion in September 2012. Apple only assumed the most valuable company in the world title in 2011, when it pipped Exon to the prize.