Apple CEO Tim Cook announced to his employees today that the company had recently sold its billionth iPhone. Tim had some unsurprisingly flowery things to say about the iPhone, claiming that the handset is "one of the most important, world-changing, and successful products in history." Heady words, but he probably isn't wrong. Steve Jobs famously described the iPhone as "an iPod with touch controls, a mobile phone, and an Internet communications device", and Apple's little three-in-one hand-held computer is commonly credited with the proliferation of the modern smartphone.
Tim also subtly acknowledged the competition in his remarks. "We never set out to make the most, but we've always set out to make the best products," said the CEO this morning. Sales of handsets featuring Google's Android operating system hit 1.4 billion by September of last year, according to Google. The comparison isn't really fair, because there are a bewildering array of Android devices at all price points, while the iPhone was (until recently) a single device at a premium price. In the light of that, the iPhone's landmark is all the more impressive. Either way, congratulations to Apple on its achievement.