Apple Inc’s devices are now ubiquitous, its annual new product releases are the most anticipated in the world, and it recently announced it would begin issuing a dividend to its stock owners expected to generate $10 billion in the first year alone. There is also speculation that Apple will enter into the payments market in the near future (allowing its handheld products to serve in the same fashion as a credit card). This alone would turn them into a trillion dollar company.

But how do Apple’s eye-popping statistics translate to the real world?

• Apple’s total sales in 2011 were $128 billion which is more than the gross domestic product of about 160 nations around the world including New Zealand, Iraq and Syria.

• Apple’s current market capitalization is $508 billion making it the largest company in the world.

• Apple’s release of its latest iPad was massive: the company sold 3 million devices in the first 72 hours of release.

• 695 iPads are sold every minute. 11 iPads are sold every second.

• Apple projects to sell 56.4 million iPads in 2012. Laid end-to-end those iPads would stretch from Cupertino, California to New York City and back and nearly halfway back to the Big Apple.

• Since 2008, almost as many devices with Apple’s IOS operating system were sold as cars worldwide. Does that mean that in today’s world we consider Apple products as important as vehicles?

• While the iPad has been a huge success, the iPhone is still Apple’s franchise player selling over 72 million devices in 2011. That’s nearly equal to the weight of the Eiffel Tower.

• 40% of Apple’s revenue is credited to the iPhone alone.

Just how big is Apple?
From: Best Computer Science Degrees

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "Arline M." for the heads up.]