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Apple Stock Hits Record High Ahead of New iPhone Launch

Shares of Apple Inc. hit a new all-time Friday, as investors expect the company to reveal a new iPhone on Wednesday.

Apple shares have been rallying strongly through August, recovering from a swoon that set in in April, as investors started worrying that phone companies would rein in the subsidies they pay to sell the iPhone for $199 or less in stores. Apple sales showed some weakness in the quarter that ended in June, too.

However, analysts expect the iPhone 5 to be a blockbuster, and believe it will hit stores late in September, somewhat earlier in the year than the iPhone 4S launched last year.

The Cupertino, Calif., also is reportedly in talks to create a custom-radio service similar to the one operated by Pandora Media, according to The Wall Street Journal, expanding its dominance in online music.

Amazon.com Inc. revealed new Kindle tablet computers on Thursday. It's broadening the line to include bigger tablets, challenging the iPad more directly. Apple investors paid little heed, however.

"Nothing really grabbed our attention and this announcement will do little to halt the momentum of Apple's iPad franchise that continues to gain momentum around the world," said Apple analyst Brian White at Topeka Capital Markets.

Apple shares hit $682.48 in midday trading, before retreating to $680.21 in the afternoon. That was up $3.94, or 0.6 percent, from Thursday's close. The previous high was hit on Aug. 27.

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