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  • 07.27.16

Apple has sold its billionth iPhone

Apple CEO Tim Cook brought the billionth iPhone with him to an employee meeting in Cupertino Wednesday to make the announcement (see above).

“iPhone is truly an essential part of our daily life and enables much of what we do throughout the day,” Cook said. “We never set out to make the most, but we’ve always set out to make the best products that make a difference.” The first iPhone was released on June 29, 2007.

Sales of the iconic device hit an all-time high in Q1 of 2015 (after the debut of the iPhone 6) at 74.47 million units. Apple broke its own record in the first quarter of 2016, selling 74.76 million devices. iPhone now contributes about 60 percent of Apple’s total revenue, down from about 65% a year ago. 

Apple’s phone sales have slowed down considerably this year, as smartphone markets around the world have reached saturation point, and as consumers have begun to upgrade their phones less often. Apple reported in its June-ending quarterly results yesterday that iPhone sales were down 15% from the year-earlier period. Sales numbers may gain back some ground this fall with the launch of the next iPhone (which many believe will be called the iPhone 7). But sales at the above-mentioned levels aren’t likely to happen again. 

As has been suggested by my colleague Rick Tetzeli, Apple’s new challenge may be leveraging the huge numbers of iPhones now in the wild by selling services (like Apple Music) through them. 

Image: AppleMS