We've been talking a lot about Apple's remarkably strong 4th quarter results here on TUAW, but with the recent gains Apple passed an important milestone. Apple has a larger market capitalization than IBM, meaning simply that Apple is now the most valuable computer hardware maker in the world. Let me say that again: Apple is, as of this writing, trading above $185 per share giving it a market cap of $161b, compared to IBM at $153b, HP at $133b and Dell at a measly $65b. When you put it that way it seems almost preposterous, but the numbers are what they are. Of course, all the standard provisos about market cap apply, but nonetheless I'm sure they're savoring this in Cupertino.