iPhone is bigger than all of Microsoft

As the iPhone 5 unveil date approaches, here's a look at just how critical the iPhone is to Apple's success.

iPhone revenue vs Mac revenue

For most of Apple's 36-year existence, the Macintosh has been its biggest and most important product. Even several years ago, when Apple was selling tens of millions of iPods per quarter, the iPod was mainly viewed as a "halo" product that led new Apple customers to also buy a Mac.

No one views the iPhone as a gateway product. In the quarter that the iPhone 4S debuted, Apple sold nearly twice as many iPhones as it had ever sold iPods over the course of a three-month period. That quarter, iPhone outsold the Mac by a factor of seven.

To put worldwide iPhone sales into perspective, last year Apple sold as many iPhones as there are households in the United States.

  @DavidGoldmanCNN - Last updated September 09 2012 12:31 PM ET

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