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Jean-Louis Gassée: ‘Apple Culture After Ten Years of iPhone’

Jean-Louis Gassée:

Let’s see if we can bring these unimaginable quantities into a manipulable picture.

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.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017