Jean-Louis Gassee on the iPhone's scale


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The iPhone is on track to selling over 1.2 billion handsets in its first 10 years while generating over $1 trillion in revenue for Apple.

Jean-Louis Gassee puts the iPhone's scale into perspective:

During the most recent Xmas quarter, Apple sold slightly fewer than 80 million iPhones, about 900,000 a day. Obligingly, a day has 86,400 seconds, so we round up to 90,000 to get a production yield of ten iPhones per second.

But producing a phone isn't instantaneous, it isn't like the click of the shutter in a high-speed camera. Let's assume that it takes about 15 minutes (rounded up to 1,000 seconds) to assemble a single iPhone. How many parallel production pipes need to accumulate ten phones a second? 1,000 divided by 1/10 equals...10,000! Ten thousand parallel pipes in order to output ten phones per second.