Hindsight is golden - rarely was that phrase more fitting than in the case of Apple. If only you had put faith in that bespectacled man in a turtleneck sweater back in 2007, believed that he was indeed holding a revolutionary device in his hands, and invested $1,000 in his company right then, you would be looking at a nice return today. If you had put your chips on Apple and Steve Jobs even earlier, say when the company surprised the world with the first iPod in October 2001, your investment, if untouched, would have grown to more than half a million dollars by now, fueled by one of the most remarkable growth stories of the 21st century.
When Apple introduced the iPod in 2001, the company’s revenue amounted to little more than $5 billion, shouldered almost entirely by the Mac division. The iPod became a smash success, and in 2006 it even overtook the Mac as Apple’s largest source of revenue. That’s when the iPhone came around, however, marking the beginning of the end for the iPod and the dawn of a new era for Apple. Since its introduction in 2007, the iPhone has generated more than $1.5 trillion (sic!) in sales, almost single-handedly making Apple the most profitable and most valuable company of all time. In its most recent completed fiscal year, Apple’s revenue amounted to $365 billion and its annual profit looks all but certain to pass $100 billion for the first time this year.
The following animated infographic shows how Apple’s remarkable 21st century growth unfolded, pitting the company’s products against each other.