Apple announced its fiscal Q1 earnings a couple days ago and the numbers were staggering. There have been a lot of interesting stats people have noted. They had the second most successful quarter in all of business history – not Apple’s history – all business. Their profit – $13 billion – was more than Google’s revenue – $10.6 billion. Their revenue and profit were double Microsoft’s. And so on.
The driver of Apple’s comeback was the staggering success of the iPod. It was a device that changed how we listen to music, and it was (is?) ubiquitous. What’s amazing is that the iPhone has made that success look positively anemic. The iPod’s best year ever was 2008 with 54.8 million devices sold and its best quarter was Q1 2009 with 22.7 million devices sold.*
Q1 2012 saw Apple selling 37 million iPhones and 15.4 million iPads. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said they sold 62 million iOS devices in the quarter. That means iOS is nearly 3 times more successful than the iPod at its peak. For the calendar year 2011, Apple sold 93.1 million iPhones – more than 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 combined – and nearly double the iPod’s most successful year.
*Apple’s Q1 is actually calendar Q4 (the holiday season). They start their fiscal year in October.