Apple joins Elvis and McDonald’s in the ‘billion sold’ club

“Apple Inc. has become one of just a handful of enterprises that have singlehandedly sold more than a billion units of something – be it devices, burgers or albums,” Jennifer Booton reports for MarketWatch.

“It’s no easy feat for a single entity to offload a billion of anything,” Booton reports. “But with Apple ringing in 74.5 million iPhone sales in its most recent quarter, the company finally surpassed the threshold on Nov. 22 by selling its billionth iOS device, which also includes the iPad.”

Booton reports, “Apple says the billionth shipment was a space gray 64 gigabyte iPhone 6 Plus, which it will keep at its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.”

Full article here.

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  1. My guess is there are a lot more than a handful of companies that sold a billion of something. i.e. bottles of coke, loaves of bread, bottles of beer, aspirins, paper clips, and on and on

      1. I don’t think so, McLargeHuge (always loved that handle, by the way). Think small – nails, for instance, or needles or ball bearings or washers. I will bet that some small, basic component like that has the all-time unit sales record.

        For unit sales of more complex devices, such as consumer electronics, Apple might very well be the king – certainly so if you add in a time constraint, since this has occurred in less than 15 years (with the majority of unit sales occurring since 2008, I would think).

        1. Excellent point. I was thinking more in terms of a single, branded product (so for instance, one brand of nails would have to outsell everything else, we wouldn’t just combine all nails into one group). But even then, bearings makes me think. I’ve a friend who has his own bearing business, for conveyor rollers. Orders of 50,000 to 100,000 are not uncommon. These are all identical parts.

        2. 15 years? The article specified that the Apple release was about the billionth iOS device. In that case, ALL the unit sales has been since the summer of 2007.

          We’re a few months away from eight years since the very first iPhones were sold, so that’s a BILLION iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches (and perhaps Apple TV’s since those also run iOS).

          Wow. A billion of any consumer electronics product manufactured and sold in less than eight years is truly astounding.

  2. Correction on Elvis: the mythical “billion” figure comes from the old times when there was no certifications and major studios were competing against each other in who will claim crazier sales figure. This also relates to Beatles sales claim.

    (There is no doubt that for both acts sales are huge, but accurate estimations show that they are much lower than billion-level claims.)

  3. “Right now Microsoft is selling millions and millions of phones, while Apple is selling zero phones…we’ll see how well they do in the future, but I like our strategy, I like it a lot.” [Paraphrase] Stephen Balmer, CEO, Microsoft, circa 2007

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