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Apple’s billionth iPhone is a rare milestone in tech

There aren’t many tech categories, let alone products, that have reached the 10-digit mark.

An Apple iPhone using the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch feature. Apple

You know what’s cool? A billion iPhones.

Yeah, we all knew Apple was pretty close to hitting this milestone. But even Apple critics should realize this is a big deal.

There aren’t that many entire technology categories that have over a billion units sold. Rarely does a single product from a single company reach the billion level. And the iPhone has reached that mark in less than a decade.

It took the computer industry until 2002 — 25 years — to ship its one billionth PC, and that was a collective milestone. Android, of course, has passed a billion devices, but again that’s been split among a number of hardware makers. And, of course, there are billions of TVs and basic cellphones, too.

But while there are cheap televisions, cheap cellphones and cheap Android devices, there really is no such thing as a cheap iPhone.

Even the least expensive new iPhone costs several hundred dollars unsubsidized. And iPhone users, unlike users of other phones, continue to spend big dollars over the life of their device, money spent on accessories, on apps and on cellphone bills higher than their Android counterparts.

Here’s the clip that set the numerical bar for coolness:

Update: Former Windows boss Steven Sinofsky tweeted about how long it took some other things to get to a billion.

This article originally appeared on

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