> Category: Tablet
> Units sold/sales: 67 million units
> Parent Company: Apple
Apple released the first iPad in April of 2010. The iPad was an instant success and became first commercially successful tablet computer. Recently, the company has launched the third generation of its hugely popular tablet computer. Since its release, more than 67 million iPads have been sold. To put this number in perspective, it took 24 years for Apple to sell the same number of computers. According to IDGConnect, 12% of iPad users in enterprise (at work, not home) no longer use their personal computer. And in the education sector, Apple sells two iPads for every computer.
7. Star Wars
> Category: Movies
> Units sold/sales: $4.54 billion in ticket sales
> Parent company: 20th Century Fox
In 2009, James Cameron’s Avatar became the highest-grossing U.S. film of all time. Adjusted for inflation, 1939’s Gone with the Wind remains the highest-grossing film, according to Box Office Mojo. However, when a film franchise is considered — and accounting for inflation — nothing comes close to George Lucas’s Star Wars. The original movie debuted in 1977, grossing more than $1.4 billion. With the five films that followed, ending with Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the franchise grossed $4.54 billion.
8. Toyota Corolla
> Category: Vehicle
> Units sold/sales: 39 million cars
> Parent Company: Toyota
The Corolla has been selling for more than four decades, with the model evolving over 11 generations. Since it was first produced, Toyota has sold one Corolla every 40 seconds. The car was also the first the Japanese manufacturer that chose to produce in the U.S. — sales in the U.S. began in 1968. The current model gets 34 MPG and has a starting price of $16,130. Right behind the Corolla for best-selling vehicle is the Ford (NYSE: F) F-150 pickup.
> Category: Pharmaceutical
> Units sold/sales: $125 billion revenue
> Parent Company: Pfizer
Lipitor belongs to a class of drugs called statins that help lower the level of LDL — the so-called bad cholesterol — in the blood. It was developed by Warner-Lambert, which later merged with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), and was approved for marketing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1997. Though Lipitor was not the first in its class, its ability to reduce cholesterol and significant advertising quickly propelled it to the top of its class of drugs. The same year that it was released, the FDA began to allow direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs. By 2008, the market size of drug advertising grew to more than $4.5 billion, and in 2009, Lipitor had the largest ad expenditure of any drug. This past November, Pfizer’s patent on the drug ended. Since 1997, the drug has had sales of over $125 billion, which amounts to 20% to 25% of Pfizer’s revenue during this time.
> Category: Video game console
> Units sold/sales: 300+ million units
> Parent Company: Sony
The first edition of the Sony (NYSE: SNE) PlayStation, released in 1995, was the Japanese electronics manufacturer’s foray into video games. Five years after the first PlayStation was released, Sony began selling the PlayStation 2, the second edition of its console. The PS2 went on to become the most popular gaming console of all time, selling more than 150 million units by the beginning of 2011. The PS3, which hit the market in 2006, has been less successful, but the franchise as a whole is by far the most popular in history, having sold well over 300 million units. The video gaming console has been bolstered by popular game franchises, including the Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto, and Gran Turismo series.
Michael A. Sauter, Lisa A. Nelson, Elisabeth Uible and Samuel Weigley