Apple Confirms Over 1 Billion iPhones Have Been Sold Globally To Date

Apple sold roughly 7 million less iPhone devices last quarter than it did in the same quarter a year ago, but that didn't stop it from reaching a significant milestone. During an employee meeting in Cupertino on Wednesday morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the sale of the one billionth iPhone, an impressive feat no matter how you slice it.

"iPhone has become one of the most important, world-changing and successful products in history. It's become more than a constant companion. iPhone is truly an essential part of our daily life and enables much of what we do throughout the day," said Cook. “Last week we passed another major milestone when we sold the billionth iPhone. We never set out to make the most, but we’ve always set out to make the best products that make a difference. Thank you to everyone at Apple for helping change the world every day."

iPhone SE Stack

It doesn't happen often that a tech product crosses the billion units sold threshold and for Apple to get there in less than a decade with its iPhone line is, to quote Ron Burgundy, kind of a big deal. What's also impressive is that this happened about two years after Apple sold its 500 millionth iPhone. Doubling up like that to reach one billion in such a short period adds some perspective to the criticism over declining iPhone sales.

Going forward the challenge for Apple is getting users to upgrade. Apple sold 40.4 million iPhones in the quarter ending in June, down from 47.5 million a year earlier, the company revealed in its latest earnings report. During a conference call with analysts, Cook admitted that the upgrade rate for the iPhone 6s was much lower than it was for the iPhone 6, though he remains "optimistic about the future."

"I see an installed base that has gotten incredibly large. I see a switcher rate that is the highest ever. I see the smartphone itself, led by iPhone, becoming even more instrumental and important to people's lives," Cook said.

Cook and company will put that optimism to the test when the iPhone 7 releases later this summer or early fall.