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This One Fact About Apple Will Blow Your Mind

Apple’s fiscal quarterly earnings report was outstanding — but this one detail was the most impressive.

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BY Peter Gasca - 02 Aug 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Apple reported its fiscal third quarter earnings recently, and to say they did well would be a gross understatement.

Earnings were very strong, which was surprising because there was speculation that consumers were holding out for the release of the iPhone8 (like me) with all the rumored changes -- including a new charger and a number of other updated features. Instead, Apple reportedly sold 41 million iPhones during the last quarter, making the total number of iPhone sold to date over 1.2 billion.

The report also indicated that Apple sold 11.42 million iPads (versus analysts' estimates of 9.03 million) and 4.29 million Mac computers. And while sales of other accessories were not itemized, Apple CEO Tim Cook told investors that sales were up 50 percent for Apple Watches.

The earnings news -- during what most experts see as a "boring" quarter -- sent shares soaring more than 5 percent above $159 (as of this writing), setting a record for the stock and valuing the company at over $775 billion -- the most valuable company on the planet.

While these results are impressive, perhaps the most impressive statistic to come from Apple was its cash balance -- a staggering $261.5 billion.

That is billion with a "b."

If you are like me, it is easy to get distracted by how easy "millions" and "billions" get thrown around during an earnings report. These numbers, however, are typically referring to revenue or earnings or market cap.

In this case, we are talking cash, meaning if Apple wanted to go to an ATM to check their balance, it would print out a receipt saying "$261,500,000,000.00."

Admittedly, this might be difficult for some to comprehend, so it might help to add a little perspective to just what you could do with $256 billion.

• If you decide to withdrawal the money from the ATM, with the maximum daily limit of $300, it would take you 2.4 million years to withdrawal it all.

• If you could withdrawal it all, there would not be enough US $20 bills in circulation to cover your balance.

• If you spent $1 million every single day, it would take you 716 years to spend it all. Conversely, if you only lived another 50 years, you would need to spend $14.3 million every single day to die with a zero balance.

• If you had all of the cash in $100 bills, it would require up 2,560 crates or pallets, about three feet tall, to store it all.

• If Apple's cash balance was a measure of gross domestic product (GPD), it would be the 42nd largest country in the world ahead of Venezuela, Pakistan, Finland, Greece, Portugal and New Zealand.

• You could buy every single NFL, MBA, NBA and NHL team.

• If you distributed the cash to each person on the planet, everyone would receive $35, which is the equivalent of a full eight hour day of work in Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Costa Rica, Slovak Republic, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Russian Federation, and Mexico.

• If you just gave the cash to each person in the US, everyone would receive $800.

• If you stacked the money in US $1 dollars, it would reach about 17,300 miles or 70 times higher than the orbiting international space station.

• If you lined up the money in US $1 dollars, it would reach 24.8 million miles or roughly 995 times around the earth.

• If you laid the money in US $1 dollars as a carpet, it would extend 1,024 square miles or roughly the size of Rhode Island

• If the stacked the money in US pennies, it would reach 25 million miles in space, almost 3/4 the distance to Mars, and way 144 billion tons.

• If you had 256 billion hamburgers side-by-side, you would be able to circle the earth (133 times) and remaining stack would reach the moon (five times).

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