At the iPhone 4S announcement last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage carrying the script that Steve Jobs had honed to perfection, recapping recent Apple store openings and giving a numbers-heavy overview of how Apple’s various products and businesses are doing.
Apple now operates 357 stores in 11 countries, including 6 stores in China, which still represents a largely untapped market for Apple. The just-opened Hong Kong Apple store, for instance, received 100,000 visitors on the opening weekend and sold more Macs on its opening day than has any other Apple store.
Even while the brick-and-mortar Apple stores continue to be key to Apple’s success in selling hardware, the company has managed to transition software sales to the iOS App Store and Mac App Store. It’s likely that the ease of downloading boosted sales of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, which has had 6 million downloads so far. Cook said that Lion’s uptake rate was 80 percent higher than Snow Leopard’s, and it took Lion only 2 weeks to reach 10 percent of the Mac installed base. Windows 7 took 20 weeks to reach the same level of penetration. Cook said Apple has 58 million Mac OS X users.
As impressive as that number of users sounds, it’s nothing compared to the 250 million iOS devices that Apple has sold so far. And although Cook didn’t break out iPhone sales specifically, he did say that the iPhone 4 accounts for over half of all iPhones sold to date.
The iTunes Store now contains 20 million songs, and over 16 billion songs have been downloaded in the past 8 years. Cook used the term “mind-boggling,” which doesn’t seem like hyperbole. Of course, the iPod was a key driver in those sales, and Apple has sold over 320 million iPods so far, with over 45 million in the last year. (Both of those numbers include the iPod touch, which Apple considers both an iPod and an iOS device at different times.)
Although Apple didn’t talk about the Mac App Store’s results beyond Lion downloads, Cook did share numbers from the iOS App Store. It now contains more than 500,000 apps, 140,000 of which are made specifically for the iPad. Customers have downloaded more than 18 billion apps, and Cook was careful to point out that Apple has paid developers more than $3 billion, which means that Apple has brought in roughly $4.3 billion in app revenue so far.
As always when Apple shares these numbers, it’s worth remembering that although there’s no reason to disbelieve them, there’s also no question that Apple is cherry-picking those numbers that will sound the best and couching them in terms that present Apple in the brightest light. Nevertheless, it’s clear that Apple is on top of the world right now.