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Apple’s 2011 iOS Sales Larger Than Mac Sales in Last 28 Years

February 18, 2012

Apple iPhone 4S (Verizon Wireless) Apple sold more iPhones, iPads and iPod touches during 2011 than it sold Mac computers over the past 28 years, according to new revelations from Apple analyst Horace Dediu of Asymco.

Apple during 2011 sold a total of 156 million devices running its iOS mobile operating system, Dediu wrote in an analysis Thursday. In contrast, Cupertino sold 122 million Mac OS X computers during its 28-year history.

Dediu on Thursday released a graph plotting each major computing product Apple has sold throughout its history (below). He was inspired to create the graph after reading statements Apple CEO Tim Cook made during an appearance at a Goldman Sachs investor conference earlier this week.

Cook admitted that even Apple was surprised by the staggering number of iPads it has sold to date — 55 million.

"This 55 is something no one would have guessed, including us," Cook said during the speech. "To put it in context, it took us 22 years to sell 55 million Macs. It took us about 5 years to sell 22 million iPods, and it took us about 3 years to sell that many iPhones. And so, this thing is, as you said, it's on a trajectory that's off the charts."

Dediu's chart shows that Apple has, of course, sold more iPhones than any other product. Moreover, the iPhone looks poised to soon cross the milestone of 200 million units sold.

During the fourth quarter of 2011 alone, Apple shipped 37 million iPhones, a whopping 128 percent increase from the year before. Much of that growth was attributed to the launch of the iPhone 4S.

In total, Apple's iOS mobile platform, which runs on iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices, reached 316 million units sold at the end of 2011, Dediu said.

A Thursday report from iSuppli, meanwhile, found that sales of the iPhone 4S actually bit into sales of Apple's iPad during the fourth quarter. But during that same Goldman Sachs conference, Cook said he doesn't really care which product consumers are buying as long as they come from Apple.

Cumulative Sales for Apple Computing Products Asymco

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