Apple’s Earnings with Math: Or, What Is 74.5 Million iPhones Equal To?

Plenty of other websites will dissect Apple’s earnings for the latest quarter, but here are a few interesting examinations of the number of iPhones sold. Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones. This is equal to:

  • Over 50,000 cubic meters of packaged iPhones. (Assuming my math is correct. I measured an iPhone 5s box, which comes to 661 cc.)
  • Using standard TEU (twenty foot) containers, that’s 1,515 containers.

According to Wolfram Alpha, this volume is equal to:

  • ≈ 0.2 × volume of oil that can be carried by a Very Large Crude Carrier supertanker (≈ 2 MMbbl )
  • ≈ 0.3 × volume of the Hindenburg Zeppelin (≈ 200000 m^3 )
  • ≈ 0.88 × volume of steel used in the construction of the Three Gorges Dam (≈ 58900 m^3 )

How about length?

Measured end-to-end, 74.5 million iPhone 6 come to 10,288 kilometers. The earth’s circumference is 40,075 km. This year, Apple will sell enough iPhones to wrap around the earth.

Wolfram Alpha tell us that this equals:

  • ≈ 0.81 × Earth equatorial diameter (≈ 12756 km )
  • ≈ 0.94 × moon equatorial circumference ( 1.09211×10^7 m )

And weight?

  • Using the iPhone 6 as an example, 74.5 million iPhones are equal to 9,610,000 kg. Add the packaging (around 250g per box), and that’s another 28,235,500 kg. (If you use the heavier iPhone 6 Plus, the numbers will be substantially higher.)

Again, from Wolfram Alpha:

  • ≈ 0.8 × daily mass of trash produced in New York City (≈ 1.2×10^7 kg )

Warning: my math may be wrong. Feel free to post corrections in the comments.

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