The next iPhone is expected to launch next week and CNN Money decided it was a good time to run a list of superlatives related to the financial impact of Apple's smartphone.
To start out with, Apple's iPhone business unit could be a Fortune 50 company on its own. That business unit is already bigger than all of Microsoft in terms of revenue. From June 2011 until June 2012, the iPhone generated $74.3 billion in revenue for Apple. By comparison, all of Microsoft's business units together generated $73 billion in revenue.
CNN Money notes that if you take all of the revenue that Apple generates from the iPad, various iPod models, iTunes, the Mac and the 30 percent take of all apps sold, it still doesn't add up to the revenue stream from the iPhone. A year-by-year comparison of the impact of the iPhone to Apple's bottom line shows that in 2008 -- one year after the first iPhone was launched -- the device accounted for 9 percent of Apple's total revenue; now that figure is 53 percent.
Of course, there's always the question of what "worth" means, as Forbes pointed out a few weeks ago. In this case, we're talking about sales, and that's a pretty fluid thing. Nokia's Lumia 920 could be a huge hit, for example, and the iPhone is no longer the "number one" smartphone according to one survey.
Way back in Februrary Ed Bott did a breakdown of how Apple, Google and Microsoft make their money. Of course the iPhone was a major component of Apple's business, versus Microsoft's more distributed revenue streams, and Google's lopsided revenue stream (advertising). As MG Siegler points out, even if you took away the iPhone from Apple's chart, the remainder is still bigger than Microsoft's total business. That's significant.
Apple is always good at showing off the numbers at its events, so we can count on even more amazing financial statistics next week.