Watch Live: The Washington Ideas Forum 2014

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.

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

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

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Video

Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy."

Video

The Joy of Running in a Beautiful Place

A love letter to California's Marin Headlands

Video

'I Didn't Even Know What I Was Going Through'

A 17-year-old describes his struggles with depression.

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

More in Business

Just In