Apple Devices Outpace Birth Rate

Apple WorldIn this last quarter, Apple sold more devices than humans born on planet earth.

It was just a little over a decade ago, when Apple had just a small share of overall tech sales, it’s amazing the come back they’ve had over the past years.

Yesterday, Apple released their Q4, 2012 financial results (36.0 billion in revenues and quarterly net profit of $8.2 billion) and shared some of the stats of devices sold.

The sales rate is impressive for a company that’s made a quick rebound into media, devices, and technology over the last few years and wanted to put it into context.

To illustrate, I decided to run some numbers and compare the product rates compared to something we can relate to, here’s what I found:

Apple Sells 23k Devices Each Hour
During this past quarter, Apple sold:

  • 26.9 million iPhones
  • 14.0 million iPads
  • 4.9 million Macs
  • 5.3 million iPods
  • = 51.1 million total devices sold in one quarter
  • 23,657 devices sold per hour. (Divided 51m by 90 days, then 24 hours)

Earth Receives 15k New Humans Each Hour
During this past quarter, let’s compare the global birthrate
I found online a few sources of global human birthrate, but resulted settling on CIA estimates that reveal

  • 362,880 births a day.
  • 252 worldwide births per minute
  • 15,120 births hour

Apple Devices Sold Outpaces Global Birthrate
Comparing Apple devices sold to the number of humans born, 23,657 devices sold per hour, while there are 15, 120 humans born per hour.  That means that on average, if only newborn babies were to receive Apple devices, they would get 1.5 devices per quarter, or 6 devices a year.

To put the stats side by side:

  • Apple sells 23,657 devices per hour
  • Earth receives 15,120 new births hour
  • 1.56 ratio of Apple products over global births

Looking at Apple profits (beyond revenue) they announced $8.2b in profits for the quarter, which is staggering, and it was reported Apple has $121b in cash, enough to buy a space station. To put this in perspective, Facebooks run rate of revenues (not even profits) could be $5b at best this year, via my rough math at just over 1b in revenues per last few quarters this year.

On a side note, it’s interesting to see Microsoft’s large push yesterday on Windows 8, including the large push towards Surface, and a flagship store in Times Square which WSJ reports has a small line.

To summarize, the mobile revolution is among us, with many phones, tablets, and whatever comes next (AR glasses, I foretell) as computing devices become as common as adorning jewelry.

Update: Apple sold 3 million iPads in 3 days, (mini and fourth gen) which is equal to 11 iPads sold a second.

22 Replies to “Apple Devices Outpace Birth Rate”

  1. I want to “like” this but I can’t. I don’t like it. The birthrate is terribly high and so Apple… even more so on the terrible side. I say this typing on my MacBook Pro.

  2. This sentence doesn’t have any sense:

    “That means that on average, if only newborn babies were to receive Apple devices, they would get 1.5 devices per quarter, or 6 devices a year.”

    What your numbers mean is that on average, if only newborn babies were to receive Apple devices, they would get 1.5 devices, period.

  3. This doesn’t take into account what will happen in the future, however I can’t imagine Apple being right for every market. There are many emerging markets that cannot afford premium Apple gear.

  4. That’s an amazing statistic Jeremiah. But it’s also bad news for Apple growth rate. It’s not sustainable. They’ve got to have reached a saturation point where the “sales of devices per hour” rate will be declining.

  5. Dude, wrong way to look at this. Yes. I agree that at some point, growth is going to slow or stop altogether – but big question is when. To guesstimate the ‘when’ you need to look at existing population not birthing population.

  6. i.e. big question is how saturated is the global market for these devices? once saturated, growth will slow and new devices will go to new-comers and repeat customers who need new, updated device. when are we going to reach that point? i don’t think we’re there yet – although many people do because many people have a very limited perspective on the world. they see their friends all have iphones and they extrapolate that everyone must have one. it’s a common human issue that Daniel Kahneman (nobel prize laureate) calls the availability bias – or ‘what you see is all there is’.

  7. Well this is good news to me. Apple devices are much cooler and more valuable than many humans! Less population, more Apple helping us efficiently live our lives better.

Comments are closed.