Measured in revenue, Apple's iPad would rank No. 11. On the Fortune 500? No. 98.
According to a recent report from Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi, the iPad line brought in $32 billion in sales last year — accounting for just over 60% of all tablet sales — and will grow 75% in 2013 to $46 billion. With numbers like those, Sacconaghi estimates that would make the iPad business, on its own, the 11th largest tech company.
Even more impressive, it would make the Fortune 500, slotting in at No. 98, above long-established companies like McDonald’s MCD (No. 107, $27 billion), Macy’s M (No. 110, $26.4 billion), and Nike NKE (No. 136, $20.9 billion). Put another way, the iPad business handily makes more money than Gap GPS (No. 185, $14.5 billion) and Toys “R” Us (No. 194, $13.9 billion) combined. Not too shabby for a device launched just shy of three years ago.
Looking ahead, although Sacconaghi projects healthy sales growth over the next two years, he sees adoption flattening out in 2015 due to a heavily saturated market. In other words? By then, many consumers — even your mom — will likely be tapping, swiping, and pinching around a tablet of their own.