Apple has become the first company to reach a market value of $700bn as shares vaulted amid upbeat news on the US technology company's gains in the smartphone market and soon-to-arrive smartwatch.

Shares rose 1.9 percent to close at $122.02 on Tuesday, lifting Apple's market value to $710bn, and making it the first company to hit the milestone.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook, speaking at a conference in San Francisco, said Apple was hitting its stride.

"We've taken [the mobile operating system] iOS and extended it into your car, into your home, into your health. All of these are really critical parts of your life," Cook said.

"We want one seamless kind of life. And so, I think that is huge for our future...We also did a lot of things to further our global footprint. And so, if you look at what we've done in China, we've opened more stores there. We've opened a lot more distribution there,” he added.

"Through the world, we've opened almost 20,000 new points of sale. We've opened 27 new Apple Stores, lot of flagship stores."

Clean energy commitment

Cook said Apple took some $50bn in revenue in emerging markets over the past calendar year.

Separately, Apple agreed to commit $848m for solar energy to power its data centres, according to a statement from First Solar, Inc.

Cook called the effort "our biggest, boldest, and most ambitious project ever" and said it was part of Apple's commitment on clean energy and corporate responsibility.

Apple will receive electricity from 130 megawatts under a 25-year power purchase agreement, "the largest agreement in the industry to provide clean energy to a commercial end user," the solar firm said.

The 11 kilometre-square California Flats Solar Project occupies part of a property owned by Hearst Corporation in Cholame, California, with construction set to start this year.

Source: Agencies