The iPhone Is a Bigger Business Than Coca-Cola and McDonald's Combined

And Google. And Microsoft. And Home Depot.

Eric Chemi, head of research for Bloomberg Businessweek, pulls an amazing stat. iPhone sales in the last year exceed all revenue to Microsoft, Amazon, Comcast, or Google. The iPhone alone outsells Coca-Cola and McDonald's, perhaps the world's two most famous brands, combined.

Put differently, but no less dramatically, a product that did not exist in May 2007 is now a bigger business than 474 companies in the S&P 500.

So there you have it. Apple is "dead money" in the words of one investor, and I don't know enough about the future to tell you he's wrong. But let's pause for a moment during the funeral procession to observe that the iPhone could be the most successful branded product in the history of the world, and that's something amazing to behold, no matter what direction the company's stock is headed this afternoon.

Update: The link in the first sentence, which originally pointed to the author's email address, has been edited to direct you to the original Businessweek link.

Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Business

Just In