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Company valued at over half a trillion US dollars and analysts think that's just the beginning.

Apple shares surge as iPad 3 goes on sale

Apple’s shares have hit an all time high of US$600 just a day before the Cupertino based firm’s third-generation iPad tablet goes on sale.

The iPhone maker’s stock price rose nearly two per cent in the day’s trading before closing down to $585. The value of the company has increased significantly from the $400 level stock price before Christmas.

The surging share price has resulted in Apple boasting a public valuation of more than $550 billion dollars.

British mobile networks have begun selling the mobile radio-equipped version subsidised with prices starting at just under £100. Mobile network Three offers the iPad 3 on a £29 monthly deal, providing customers sign up for two years.

A number of analysts quoted by the FT have raised their target share price for Apple to over $700.

Ironically, despite a worldwide legal battle between Apple and Korean electronics giant Samsung, it seems that Apple’s rival actually manufactures the iPad 3’s defining trait – the 9.7" 2048×1536 pixel display.

It seems the technology giants are happy enough to compartmentalise their enmity when the need arises.

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