“The iPhone has been, by many measures, one of the most successful products in business history,” Kevin Kelleher reports for Fortune. “Nearly 200 million iPhones have been sold in four and a half years, 37 million of them in the last three months of 2011. Apple’s market cap has soared from $104 billion in June 2007, when the first iPhone was sold, to $480 billion today.”
“No doubt, the iPhone is a revenue machine. Last quarter, it generated $24.4 billion in revenue for Apple (AAPL), greater than the $20.9 billion Microsoft (MSFT) made in all of its various businesses,” Kelleher reports. “It is, to say the least, obscenely profitable: iPhones make up 75% of the profits of cell-phone makers, despite being only 9% of all units shipped.”
Kelleher reports, “Less visible in such soaring statistics, is the impact on the mobile carriers. Even with the heavy subsidies phone companies must pay to Apple and some five years after its introduction, the iPhone may well be the best thing going for the mobile industry… But there’s a catch… Apple’s iPhone almost singlehandedly saved AT&T and Sprint. But it come at a steep price, one that the mobile carriers will be paying for years.”
Read more in the full article here.