Apple has created a business that took Microsoft five years to create in just four months.
According to Microsoft’s latest filings, the Surface made $1.4 billion (£950 million) in revenue in the holiday quarter of 2015.
During that same period, Apple made roughly the same amount from its iPad Pro, which was released in November.
Apple does not break out figures for the iPad Pro individually, but figures from research firm IDC, shared with Business Insider, predict the iPad Pro will account for 15 to 20% of iPad sales depending on the market. Apple made a total of $7.1 billion (£5 billion) in revenue from the iPad and 20% of that is $1.4 billion.
Put another way: Apple’s newly released tablet is now as valuable as a product Microsoft has taken five years to create.
The iPad Pro has a 12.9-inch screen and is aimed at the creative professional market. It’s not quite as powerful as the Surface — both in terms of software and hardware — but it could, in some cases, be used instead of a laptop.
Microsoft’s Surface communications manager, Dan Laycock, described the iPad Pro as a “companion device” that couldn’t be used as a PC. However, Apple contests this. CEO Tim Cook even asked who, when faced with the Pro, would want a PC.