“Just how lucrative has Apple’s iPad become? Let’s put it this way: if the tablet were spun off into a standalone business, it would be the 11th largest U.S. tech company,” JP Mangalindan reports for Forbes.

“According to a recent report from Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi, the iPad line brought in $32 billion in sales last year — accounting for just over 60% of all tablet sales — and will grow 75% in 2013 to $46 billion,” Mangalindan reports. “With numbers like those, Sacconaghi estimates that would make the iPad business, on its own, the 11th largest tech company.”

Mangalindan reports, “Even more impressive, it would make the Fortune 500, slotting in at No. 98, above long-established companies like McDonald’s (No. 107, $27 billion), Macy’s (No. 110, $26.4 billion), and Nike (No. 136, $20.9 billion).”

More info in the full article here.