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Stock brushes $600 day before latest iPad debut

Stock-brushes-600-day-before-latest-iPad-debut

Upgrades on the new iPad include a sharper screen, driven by a faster processing chip that will act as the 'brains' of the device. The new features will make the tablet computer slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad 2 because it needs a larger battery to power the high-resolution screen.

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NEW YORK -- Apple Inc.'s stock touched $600 for the first time Thursday, the day before the company's latest iPad goes on sale.

The stock reached $600.01 just after the market opened. It lost those gains and closed down $4.02, or 0.7 percent, at $585.56.

Apple is the world's most valuable company, with a market capitalization of nearly $555 billion. It topped $500 billion for the first time in late February, a market value peak where few companies have ventured.

Anticipation is high for Apple's latest creation.

Some industry experts believe that the Cupertino, Calif., company could sell 1 million of the new iPads on Friday, when it becomes available to the public. Apple has stopped taking advance orders for Friday and said customers should expect a two to three-week wait for purchases made through its online store.

The updated iPad will not have a new name. Upgrades include a sharper screen, driven by a faster processing chip that acts as the "brains" of the device.

The new features will make the tablet computer slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad 2 because it needs a larger battery to power the high-resolution screen.

Prices aren't changing from the previous models. They will start at $499. Versions capable of accessing cellular networks will cost $629 to $829.

Apple Inc. is hoping to extend its lead over Amazon.com Inc. and Google Inc. in the growing market for tablet computers.

The iPad will go on sale in 25 more countries next week.

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