Apple Sells A Whopping Half-Billion iPhones In Less Than 7 Years

The iPhone 5c wasn't quite the ultra-cheap smartphone some had predicted.

Selling a half-billion of anything is impressive, especially when you can do it in less than seven years. That’s exactly what Apple has managed to do with the iPhone.

Apple had sold 472 million iPhones in total at the end of 2013, and given analysts estimates of 38-42 million units sold this current quarter, the 500 million milestone has most certainly been reached.

As noted by Forbes, we won’t know for a fact that 500 million units have been sold until Apple’s Q2 2014 earnings come out next month. A record 51 million iPhones were sold during the last holiday quarter, and Apple has managed to sell more iPhones each year since the original model launched in 2007.

Here’s a chart, via CNBC, that shows the consistent rise in iPhone sales each year:

140107_AppleChart

Naysayers like to point out that iPhone sales are not rising as quickly as they once were. The rapid growth of Android rivals like Samsung, combined with the relative plateau in iPhone sales, has some worried. There is something to be said for how saturated the smartphone market has become.

When asked about market-share woes during Apple’s last earnings call, Tim Cook said, “Our objective has always been to make the best, not the most. And I feel like we’re doing that.” It’s the same mantra Apple has always stuck to, and there are about 150 billion reasons to prove that it works.

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    Yet Wall Street says those 500 million iPhones aren’t enough and Apple is still doomed because Android smartphones have passed the billion mark. It all depends on how things are viewed. Apple shareholders see Apple’s cup as half-filled but Wall Street sees Apple’s cup as half-empty and losing liquid at a rapid rate. It’s going to look pretty amusing when Apple’s share price drops at the end of this quarter for missing iPhone sales expectations. Imagine a company selling that many devices and yet is always disappointing Wall Street with selling too few devices. Apple should never have run into the Android buzz-saw that basically sucked the future out of iPhone sales. Karma or just plain bad luck for Apple shareholders, but I’m not sure Apple will ever be able to recover the respect that was stolen away by Google’s Android. I don’t think Tim Cook will be able to deliver a death blow to Google as long as Apple keeps sitting on that $160 billion in reserve cash like it was some lucky rabbit’s foot.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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