With a market cap of $2.38 trillion, Apple (AAPL 0.44%) is the most valuable company in the world. Its business has skyrocketed over the years, with its stock soaring over 117,000% since the company went public in December 1980.

Apple's immense success is mainly due to its focus on quality products, which allows it to charge more than its competitors while also building brand loyalty with consumers willing to pay extra for the promise of reliable devices.

The company's position at the top of tech might make it seem like the best time to buy its stock is long past. However, the great thing about the company is its consistent and reliable growth. Here's why it's not too late to buy Apple stock. 

Apple stock: A history of consistent gains 

It may be over 40 years since Apple's IPO, but the company continues to offer investors steady and reliable growth. In the past five years, its stock clibed 234% and has soared 876% in the last decade. The rise came alongside annual revenue, which increased 48% to $394.33 billion since 2018, with operating income growing 68% to $119.44 billion.

Moreover, Apple is still hitting new milestones, suggesting its business hasn't yet hit its peak. In the second quarter of 2022, the company overtook Alphabet's Android for most smartphone market share, with Apple hitting the 50% mark.The achievement is promising, considering how most consumers rarely switch between smartphone operating systems, meaning those now using iPhones will likely continue doing so for years. 

Additionally, Apple's consistent gains have attracted top investors like legendary investor Warren Buffett, whose holdings company Berkshire Hathaway has dedicated 42.3% of its portfolio to the iPhone tech giant. For comparison, Berkshire's second-biggest holding is Bank of America at 9.7%. Since the holding company invested in Apple in Q1 2016, the stock has increased by 472%, proving itself as an excellent long-term hold.

Apple's dominance will last decades

While Apple has enjoyed a past of impressive growth, its future is equally promising. The company's stock increased almost 16% year to date, almost entirely driven by Apple's potential in a new market and its steps to move production out of China.

Numerous acquisitions and filed patents related to augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) over the years have all but confirmed the company's planned venture into the market. However, multiple reports in recent months have said Apple will likely debut a new mixed-reality headset in 2023, with Bloomberg stating it could be as early as June.

According to Grand View Research, the AR market was valued at $25.33 billion in 2021 and is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40.9% through 2030. Meanwhile, the VR market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15% in the same period.

Apple's history of success when entering new markets could see it catapult to the top of two high-growth markets with the release of a new headset. 

Furthermore, increased COVID-19 restrictions in China near the end of 2022 led investors to question Apple's reliance on the country for production as the situation strained factories. Since then, the company has made positive strides to strengthen its business by gradually moving manufacturing to other countries, with a strong focus on India.

In fact, the largest producer of iPhones, Foxconn (or Hon Hai Precision Industry), is already making iPhone 14s in India and has plans to invest $700 million in the country to expand further.The move will diversify Apple's product manufacturing and fortify its business against localized headwinds. 

Apple has had a fruitful past, with its earnings and stock reaching almost unparalleled heights. However, it's not too late to invest in this tech titan with a lucrative future ahead.