Mac maker Apple surpassed Chinese oil giant PetroChina during US Nasdaq Stock Market trading on Thursday, becoming the world's second-largest company in terms of market value.

According to AFP, Apple shares hit a new record $292.76 during Wall Street trading yesterday, giving the company a market capitalisation of $266 billion.

By end of trading PetroChina was back in top slot, with Apple slipping to $288.92, with a company value of $263.9 billion, less than PetroChina’s $265.5 billion valuation.

In May this year, Apple's market capitalisation overtook Microsoft's to become the most valuable tech company in the world.

Apple iPad

It proved a good day for Apple with Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, estimating yesterday Apple would sell 21 million iPads next year, up from his earlier prediction of 14.5 million iPads.

"We believe the iPad represents a meaningful product category for Apple as a secondary computing device for those who already have a primary computer, a primary device for those who could not previously afford a Mac, and the first Apple product that will be a success in the enterprise," Munster said.

"We see the iPad as the Mac for the masses."