When a company reaches the size of Apple, it can be difficult to fathom how big it really is. Apple products are some of the most sought after electronics in the world and retail stores are now staffed with armed security guards. When a new product launch is eminent it creates a frenzy among potential buyers who will no doubt do anything to get their hands on the latest Apple gadget. But just how big is this company that causes consumers to lose their minds?
In 2011, Apple’s total sales were $128 billion. If that doesn’t impress you, consider that $128 billion is more than the GDP of about 160 nations around the world, including Syria, Iraq and New Zealand. It is currently the largest company in the entire world and recently announced it will begin issuing a dividend check to its stock owners, which is expected to generate $10 billion in just the first year. There may also be something else huge lurking right around the corner for Apple: if the company enters into the payments market, allowing its devices to work like credit cards, Apple could become a trillion dollar company virtually overnight.
The fact is, Apple is an enormous company with tremendous growth potential. People already wait in line to buy its products; with the latest release of the iPad 3 million devices were sold within the first 72 hours of its release.
Eleven iPads are sold every second of every day, but even so, 40% of Apple’s revenue comes from the iPhone. Since 2008, nearly as many devices with Apple’s IOS operating system were sold as cars worldwide. This company is big. Really big. And it is still steadily growing.