Let’s see if we can bring these unimaginable quantities into a
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.
We can juggle the numbers, but it’s still difficult to comprehend
the scale and complexity of the iPhone production machine, to
build a reliable mental representation.
Did the unimaginable iPhone production process change Apple?
With numbers so large, how could it not?
I find it very hard to comprehend the scope of the iPhone’s scale.