Happy Birthday, iPhone
WC is an Apple fanboy. WC owned an Apple II+, a Lisa computer, the first Macintosh computer in Fairbanks and has had an all-Mac office since 1988. WC has watched the rising and falling and rising fortunes of Apple across all those years. And remembers vividly when Apple was roadkill, left for dead on the side of the information highway.
Today, it’s a different story. This is the fifth anniversary of the iPhone – the first units shipped on June 29, 2007. And the iPhone is one of the most successful products in history. In just five years, Apple has sold 250 million iPhones. While doing so, Apple has generated revenues of $150 billion – that’s billion with a “b” – in just five years. Total revenue from just from iPhone sales at Apple exceeds all revenue at Microsoft, its former rival. A single product that didn’t exist five years ago is now bigger than the 30-year old company that was once considered so all-powerful that the government intervened to try to break it up.
The iPhone generates massive profits for Apple. The iPhone business generates something like $30 billion of profit per year. That’s more profit than just about any other business on the planet. It’s more profit than General Electric makes. It’s more profit than Microsoft makes. It’s more profit than Google makes. It’s more profit than Walmart makes. It’s almost as much profit as Exxon-Mobil generates. It’s made Apple the most valuable and the most profitable company on the planet.
On the positive side, along the way, Apple has created a whole new industry: Apps. There are some 635,000 apps for the iPhone and iPad available through iTunes. A mind-boggling number. There is, indeed, an App for that, and just about everything else. Thousands of programmers live very well writing apps for the iPhone.
Congratulations to Apple. Happy Birthday to the iPhone. Get ready for Apple’s next amazing product, which will — excuse me, WC has to take a call…