If Apple Products Were Their Own Companies, They’d Be as Big as...

A blog about business and economics.
July 22 2014 7:32 PM

If Apple Products Were Their Own Companies, They’d Be as Big as ...

167271603-the-apple-logo-is-displayed-on-the-exterior-of-an-apple
The biggest apple.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple's earnings, as expected, were a bit boring today. The company isn't debuting any major new products until later in 2014, so investors had to make do with news that the company hauled in a slightly larger boatload of cash than it did this time last year, mostly thanks to growing iPhone sales. Total revenue rose 6 percent to a gaudy $37.43 billion.  

Some argue that, without a big new hit, Apple risks turning into just another tech dinosaur. But lumbering or not, sometimes it's worth reflecting on what an enormous beast the company Steve Jobs built truly is. Last year, Eric Chemi of Bloomberg Businessweek pointed out the amazing fact that Apple's iPhone sales alone were larger than the revenues at 474 of the companies in the S&P 500 stock index. So I thought I'd ask: If Apple's product lines were their own companies now, which corporations would they stack up against?

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First, about the iPhone. Apple moved 35.2 million of the devices this quarter, generating $19.75 billion in sales—a sum larger than Amazon's last reported quarterly revenue. It's also (as Derek Thompson has noted) more than the revenues at Coca-Cola and McDonald's combined. Stack Google and eBay on top of one another, and they barely beat out the little hand-computer. (To be clear, since not every company has reported earnings from April through June yet, I'm using their most recent public results.)

iphone

Sales of iPads might be declining slightly, but at almost $5.9 billion they're still a massive business in their own right, generating more revenue than Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Groupon, and Tesla combined. That said, those five companies would slightly outweigh Mac computers, which garnered a mere $5.5 billion in sales.

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Other fun comparisons: Apple's hardware accessories business (think headphones), generated $1.3 billion, larger than Chipotle's $1.05 billion top line. Weighing in at $4.5 billion, Apple's iTunes, software, and services businesses are a little larger than eBay. And while sales of the dowdy old iPod line may be dwindling, the $442 million Apple made off it this quarter is still 77 percent larger Twitter's $250 million quarterly revenue.

Jordan Weissmann is Slate's senior business and economics correspondent.

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