Something rather unprecedented is happening with Apple.
After months of shoddy performance, Apple’s stock has finally broken through an imaginary barrier of a $500 share price. The culprit for the spike is actually a pair of tweets from billionaire Carl Icahn, who said yesterday that he had a $1 billion stake in Apple and is reportedly pushing the iPhone maker to increase its buyback program to $150 billion.
Apple’s stock rarely moves this much — about seven percentage points following the tweets with today’s bump — unless there’s a surprise in its performance on the upside or downside. Apple is already in the process of a $100 billion buyback and dividend program that’s supposed to be completed by the end of 2015.
The jump in share price is still likely a welcome sign of relief for investors, as the company has been struggling with its public perception lately — with questions about whether the creator of the iPhone and iPad can actually innovate any more. At the same time, Android has become an increasingly large threat to Apple’s dominance over the smartphone market.
Apple is still expected to unveil its next iPhone at an event on Sept. 10, and is also reportedly working on a cheaper iPhone that will help it recapture the lower-end market of smartphone users where Android has done a lot of damage to Apple’s share.