Apple made more money this weekend than BlackBerry will sell for

BlackBerry is worth $4.7 billion, according to early reports on a potential takeover. That's a drop in the bucket for today's mobile king.

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Photo illustration: Andrew Nusca

Apple announced today that it had a blockbuster opening weekend for its iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s launches, despite issues around supply, selling nine million devices worldwide in the first three days the phones went on sale.

On the very same day, rival BlackBerry revealed that it has signed a letter of intent with a group led by Canada's Fairfax Financial, a large shareholder, suggesting a possible takeover. According to the valuation by the Macquarie Group, the company's sale price has been pegged at $4.7 billion, a slight premium over the company's current market value of $4.32 billion.

To illustrate BlackBerry's fall from grace, consider this: Apple makes $581.10 in revenue per iPhone unit sold, according to figures from its most recent quarterly earnings report, issued in July of this year.

If you sell nine million devices with those revenues, you've made $5.23 billion.

Now, that per-unit revenue figure has declined recently with each passing quarter. (Back in 2010, it was $650.) And it will undoubtedly continue to do so this quarter. (Though at least one reader disagrees.) But even if you reduce per-unit revenue by the same amount that it fell between Apple's second and third quarters of this year—$26.75—you still end up with $4.99 billion.

It's a sobering comparison for BlackBerry, a troubled company that, at its peak in 2008, was worth about $83 billion. Incidentally, that was the year that Apple launched the iPhone 3G and Google introduced its first Android-based mobile phone.

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