2011 iPhone Sales Top 28 Years of Mac Sales

Even though the Mac has been around for 28 years, it isn’t Apple’s best selling device. That honor goes to the iPhone which managed to hit 55 million units sold in just 2011.

“To put it in context, it took us 22 years to sell 55 million Macs,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told investors at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. “It took us about five years to sell 22 million iPods, and it took us about three years to sell that many iPhones. And so, this thing is, as you said, it’s on a trajectory that’s off the charts.”

Asymco: iOS Sales Rocket Past Mac SalesAsymco: iOS Sales Rocket Past Mac Sales

Asymco’s Horace Dediu plotted out lifetime sales for Apple’s major product lines with striking results. He said,

The iOS platform as a whole reached 316 million cumulative units at the end of last year. The iOS platform overtook the OS X platform in under four years and more iOS devices were sold in 2011 (156 million) than all the Macs ever sold (122 million).

Apple’s big sales have helped push the electronics maker up to be one of the most valuable companies in the world. Currently, Apple’s market cap is US$471.83 billion, making it worth more than even Exxon Mobil ($404.04 billion) which was previously seen as the single most valuable company.

Mac sales have been steadily climbing quarter over quarter for several years, but not nearly at the same rate as the iPhone and iPad. Assuming the trend continues, iOS device sales will continue to dramatically outdistance Mac sales — which isn’t necessarily a bad problem for Apple to have.