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America's 11th largest tech company (It's Apple's iPad)

January 8, 2013: 6:59 AM ET

Measured in revenue, Apple's iPad would rank No. 11. On the Fortune 500? No. 98.

iPad-mini-blackFORTUNE -- Just how lucrative has Apple's iPad become? Let's put it this way: if the tablet were spun off into a standalone business, it would be the 11th largest U.S. tech company.

According to a recent report from Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi, the iPad line brought in $32 billion in sales last year -- accounting for just over 60% of all tablet sales -- and will grow 75% in 2013 to $46 billion. With numbers like those, Sacconaghi estimates that would make the iPad business, on its own, the 11th largest tech company.

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Even more impressive, it would make the Fortune 500, slotting in at No. 98, above long-established companies like McDonald's (MCD) (No. 107, $27 billion), Macy's (M) (No. 110, $26.4 billion), and Nike (NKE) (No. 136, $20.9 billion). Put another way, the iPad business handily makes more money than Gap (GPS) (No. 185, $14.5 billion) and Toys "R" Us (No. 194, $13.9 billion) combined. Not too shabby for a device launched just shy of three years ago.

Looking ahead, although Sacconaghi projects healthy sales growth over the next two years, he sees adoption flattening out in 2015 due to a heavily saturated market. In other words? By then, many consumers -- even your mom -- will likely be tapping, swiping, and pinching around a tablet of their own.

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About This Author
JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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