Apple was reported to be the most valuable company in history today but the claim could be false.

Websites across the internet today cited Apple as the most highly valued company of all time after beating Microsoft's December 1999 record. However, it turns out Apple's £396bn value doesn't take it to the top spot.

Apple logo

This new peak for the iPhone maker thanks to a rise in share prices to £423 apiece is eclipsed by PetroChina, a Chinese gas and oil firm worth £458bn, according to The Inquirer.

However, the issue is debatable since many other sources state, firstly, that PetroChina was briefly worth $1tn (£634bn) in 2007 taking only the Shanghai stock exchange into account. The firm also trades on the New York and Hong Kong stock exchanged where it has never surpassed $500bn (£317bn).

Whether or not Apple has the title of most valuable company ever or not cannot change the fact it has gone from strength to strength. Hype is building quickly as we head towards the launch of the next generation iPhone, probably the iPhone 5 and the rumoured iPad Mini which will supposedly launch on 12 September.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.