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Apple Devices To Reach Parity With Windows PCs In 2014 511

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-grown-up dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Horace Dediu writes at Aymco that in 2013 there were 18.8 times more Windows PCs sold than Macs, a reduction in the Windows advantage from about 19.8x in 2012. But the bigger story is how Apple's mobile platform including iOS devices has nearly reached the sales volume of Windows. In 2013 there were only 1.18 more Windows PCs than Apple devices sold. Odds are that in 2014 Apple and Windows will be at parity. Dediu says that the Windows advantage itself came from the way computing was purchased in the period of its ascent in the 1980s and 1990s 'when computing platform decisions were made first by companies then by developers and later by individuals who took their cues from what standards were already established. As these decisions created network effects, the cycle repeated and the majority platform strengthened.' There was concentration in decision making in the 80s so a platform could win by convincing 500 individuals who had the authority (as CIOs) to impose through fiat a standard on the centers of gravity of purchasing power. Today, with mobile products there are billions of decision makers. and the decision making process for buying computers, which began with large companies IT departments making decisions with multi-year horizons, has changed to billions of individuals making decisions with no horizons. Companies have become the laggards and individuals the early adopters of technology. 'Ultimately, it was the removal of the intermediary between buyer and beneficiary which dissolved Microsoft's power over the purchase decision,' concludes Dediu. 'The computer has become personal not just in the sense of how it's used but in the sense of how it's owned.' Finally, all the above is almost moot, given the rise of Android, something that is beating both Cupertino and Redmond alike."
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Apple Devices To Reach Parity With Windows PCs In 2014

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  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @01:32AM (#45973219) Journal

    There are tons of PC's in any corporation and home.

    The difference is they run XP still and are 8 years old and are therefore not counted. I do not believe there is an IPAD for every corporate employee.

    • by symbolset (646467) * on Thursday January 16, 2014 @01:38AM (#45973257) Journal
      These are sales, not installed base. With sales at 1:1 it will take a long time for Apple to catch up on installed devices. At 3:1 or 4:1 though, Android will handle that by the end of this year.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:57AM (#45973623)

        At 3:1 or 4:1 though, Android will handle that by the end of this year.

        Android may have already passed Windows installed base. Gartner estimates there were 1.63 billion Windows PCs in the world at the end of 2013, and that around 850 million Android devices sold in the same year. Android sales in 2012 were just under 800 milion, up about 35% from 2011.

        The global average lifespan of a moble device is hard to find, but most estimates put it at around 22-25 months. Adding the numbers suggests Android has already passed Windows, or at the very least achieved parity with it.

        I'm not sure why we're discussing Apple in this context at all. I guess we just like also-rans here...

        • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @06:14AM (#45974339)

          The interesting thing about Android is the amount of money involved. E.g. in the UK

          http://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Sellers-Electronics-Mobile-Phones-Smartphones/zgbs/electronics/356496011 [amazon.co.uk]

          Top selling phones seem to be between £158 (Samsung S3 mini) to £369 (Samsung S4). Now the lifetime is 24 months. So people spend £10 per month to keep their smartphone up to date. Most people don't do this explicitly, rather their telco sells them a plan for much more than £10 a month and gives them a 'free' upgrade every so often as a sweetener.

          Now for PCs

          http://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Sellers-Computers-Accessories-Laptops/zgbs/computers/429886031/ref=zg_bs_nav_computers_1_computers [amazon.co.uk]

          Prices seem to be £300-400. On the other hand I bet the replacement time is longer. Many people mention 5 years. That's £5 or so a month. So they'd need to spend significantly more on laptops to get to the level of cash they spend on phones.

          So it's plausible that people spend more money on keeping their smartphone up to date than their PC.

          In fact that's quite plausible. Most people seem to have horrible, sluggish laptops but the very latest smartphone.

          Of course if they bought one of these every five years it would work out differently

          http://www.amazon.co.uk/Apple-13-inch-MacBook-2-5GHz-Graphics/dp/B008BEYEL8/ref=zg_bs_429886031_6 [amazon.co.uk]

          #6 on the best seller list and £855. So that would be £14 per month assuming you replace it every five years. Incidentally this is one of the reasons why Mac OS taking over from Windows is not a good thing. Most people could get save money by buying one of the vast number of Windows machines compared to buying one of Apple's limited selection of admittedly very high quality machines. A small selection of high end machines means you probably need to spend extra cash to get all the features you need because of the cheapest machine lacks a few.

          Of course Microsoft are doing their best to fuck up Windows, so it's not that surprising that people are jumping ship for Mac OS. Windows OEMs must be pretty pissed off at this.

        • by cascadingstylesheet (140919) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @07:04AM (#45974533)

          I'm not sure why we're discussing Apple in this context at all. I guess we just like also-rans here...

          Because Apple is the choice of the cool crowd ... and geeks secretly love the cool crowd and want to be in it.

        • by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @10:19AM (#45975511)

          Accept if the lifespan is 22-25 months those 800M units in 2012 have all broke and a big part of the 850M 2013 sales would have been replacements. No doubt at some point Android or iOS will pass Windows but I don't think that will mean that people will stop working with windows devices. They'll just have a tablet, a cellphone or two etc that are running something else.

          What annoys me most about this trend is the applification of everything. I don't need "an app for that". I need an app for that, and that and that. I use Office because I can't be bothered giving the free options a try every couple years to see if they've caught up (and I can be sure that what I learn to do at home will work at work vs learn Open Office tricks then relearn the same thing on a different platform). The problem is the trend of very small task apps making you have dozens of applications all for one particular piece of your organizational/communication puzzle. All slightly different UI choices, storing data in different proprietary formats, generally not communicating to one another well etc. I don't want to be bothered finding all the sub parts of a particular problem then investigating apps that fit that niche (and even worse since the app developers might have partitioned the domain differently than my desired workflow). Give me a suite that does a large subset of my problem. You probably won't see that on iOS or Android any time soon.

          It is also a world where you are either expected to give away your app or make such small money that 90% of people can't live off of their development work for apps alone (saw a talk recently that estimated something like the average iOS app makes $8500/yr, that is great if I can pound that out in a month but not enough for me to bother continued support other than because I really dig the project). Not to mention the distribution is hugely scewed by the few huge successes that the median developer is making $1000.

    • by perpenso (1613749) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @01:53AM (#45973337)
      PCs have a longer lifespan, they are way overpowered for what most people use them for. I have a five year old 3GHz 64-bit AMD box. It is still quite usable, I upgraded the video card recently, about $150, and it is still quite usable for gaming. I have no compelling reason to replace this five year old PC.

      In contrast every two years I can get an iPhone upgrade for free with a two year contract, sure its not the latest generation hardware but its a free hardware upgrade. Or I can splurge and spend $200 every two years and get the latest generation hardware.

      You can't directly compare PC vs phone sales if PCs are on a 6+ year purchase cycle and phones are on a 2 year purchase cycle. Keep in mind that these are not competing devices, they are complementary devices. Most people are going to own and use both PCs and phones.

      Tablets muddy the waters a little but they are still mostly complementary devices. Not many PC users can switch completely to tablets.
      • by reikae (80981) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:34AM (#45973533)

        I wonder at which point smartphones will become fast enough so that people will stick the same phone for at least five years or so.

        Of course they're more prone to physically breaking than the desktop PC, so they'll be replaced sooner than desktops no matter how well they're performing.

      • by dwater (72834)

        > they are way overpowered for what most people use them for

        Oh, I don't know about that...it takes quite a bit of horsepower to do all that virus scanning.

        > can get an iPhone upgrade for free with a two year contract

        ^free^included ?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Seumas (6865)

        My guess is there are more cell phones sold each year than automobiles. OH NO, CARS ARE DYING!

        I'm really tired of these sensationalist tech pundits pratting on about X is dying because Y is increasing.

    • According to this article [slashdot.org] intrinsic support for XP will end this year. (And by intrinsic I mean OS updates that keep the OS secure from 0-day flaws-not just MSE). Even if they were being run for 2014-2001 = 13 years, the end is nigh. I agree with other commenters that a PC has a shorter life span than you imagine, with 3-4 years tending to be the norm and with 1:1 in sales for "Mac":"PC" they will eventually reach parity within that time. BTW my home has been Windows free since 2004 and Google requires a bu
      • According to this article [slashdot.org] intrinsic support for XP will end this year. (And by intrinsic I mean OS updates that keep the OS secure from 0-day flaws-not just MSE). Even if they were being run for 2014-2001 = 13 years, the end is nigh. I agree with other commenters that a PC has a shorter life span than you imagine, with 3-4 years tending to be the norm and with 1:1 in sales for "Mac":"PC" they will eventually reach parity within that time. BTW my home has been Windows free since 2004 and Google requires a business case for any Windows PC.

        That was a little gripe as I am fighting tooth and nail in another thread in Slashdot from +5 nodded authors who say they run XP with a smile and many reactionaries are here which never were before Vista.

        But they do rn XP and still outnumber ipads

  • by symbolset (646467) * on Thursday January 16, 2014 @01:34AM (#45973229) Journal
    Let Apple and Microsoft fight over who is a distant number 2. When sales are 3x, the installed base converts pretty quickly.
    • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot AT worf DOT net> on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:23AM (#45973491)

      Let Apple and Microsoft fight over who is a distant number 2. When sales are 3x, the installed base converts pretty quickly.

      Not really.

      Because while Androids outsell Apple 4:1 or more, there's a very strange thing going on. Mobile web traffic has iOS using TWICE the amount of data over Android. Or, put another way, 1 iOS user consumes as much data as 8 Android users.

      On the spending front, it's about 1:1 iOS:Android - i.e., for every iOS user that buys stuff online, 1 Android user buys stuff online. And even with that, iOS users spend more.

      And finally, advertisers apparently prefer iOS users - willing to pay up to twice as much per impression to an iOS user than an Android user.

      I don't know what the vast majority of Android users are doing, but it certainly isn't contributing to the ecosystem. It would be more like Mac and PCs, except it appears the vast majority of PCs were used only to play Solitaire as their sole function - leaving the few Mac users being ones to actually use their computers. Then again, the vast majority of PCs are probably used in a similar fashion - surf the web, send email, do facebook, shut down PC....

      Of course, given that most Androids are crap-droids that people are buying to replace their featurephones, I guess it makes sense - the phones sell, but they're only used to talk and text. No web browsing.

      Makes you wonder, when reports of the average cellphone bill being close to $150, that most people are really paying for plans they're not using. They see shiny Android, they may browse the web the first few days, then boom, the phone's just a phone.

      Even Samsung's flagship phones barely crack 10% of the Android market, and Samsung owns about 90% of the Android phones out there, so for every S4, they sell 8 other "budget class" Android phones.

      OTOH, the good news is, developers don't have to worry about those phones - most users will probably access the Play store once or twice, then forget about it. Google's metrics only measure the last 3 or 4 weeks, so the vast majority of phones reported would be active users (the ones who probably bought an Android phone to use as a smartphone, and not a fancier featurephone that cost less).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @01:35AM (#45973243)

    ABCco writes that the number of apples and oranges sold in 2014 will also reach parity!

    captcha: counters

  • How is this news (Score:3, Informative)

    by zerotorr (729953) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @01:38AM (#45973255)
    They're comparing Iphones to PCs? How is this parity?
    • by quax (19371) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:25AM (#45973497)

      When a 'phone' runs UNIX underneath and is a commercially attractive software platform, then I think there is indeed a basis for comparison.

      • by Microlith (54737)

        That iPhones run xnu is irrelevant given how hard they fight to keep you away from it.

        • Re:How is this news (Score:5, Interesting)

          by abhi_beckert (785219) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:07AM (#45973651)

          My iPhone can do everything I can do on my workstation. The screen is too small to be productive at some tasks, but it can do everything.

          Sure, I can't access a bash prompt on localhost, unless I jailbreak it, but I definitely have an ssh client and have logged into my server many times... even solved a catastrophe once using just my phone, vi works surprisingly well using the iOS keyboard.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            vi works surprisingly well using the iOS keyboard

            Well now I know you're just making shit up! EMACS or die bro!

    • by aardvarkjoe (156801) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:07AM (#45973653)

      This is nothing. Last year Americans bought 309 million Windows PCs, but they bought over 11 billion paper clips. It is clear that Microsoft has lost its stranglehold on the paperclip/Windows PC market.

  • by KingOfBLASH (620432) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @01:41AM (#45973271) Journal

    Investment analysts have noticed for quite some time that Apple's iphone has a "halo effect." Specifically, people who buy iphones are more likely to buy Macs (and ipads) in the future. And apple is quite good at this sort of turnover.

    So the news here is not that so many iphones are sold. The news is that this may indicate the status of Mac vs. PC in the future.

    • by Swampash (1131503) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @08:35AM (#45974881)

      My gut feeling is that Apple really doesn't give a shit about Mac any more. It's a device with small margins in a shrinking market and sales cycles of 4, 5, even 6 years (Macs just keep going and going and going).

      iPhone and iPad however have big margins and a new product revision is released every year. That's where the money is and that's where the future is.

      Why the fuck would Apple spend any more time thinking about Mac than it needs to?

    • Investment analysts have noticed for quite some time that Apple's iphone has a "halo effect." Specifically, people who buy iphones are more likely to buy Macs (and ipads) in the future. And apple is quite good at this sort of turnover.

      So the news here is not that so many iphones are sold. The news is that this may indicate the status of Mac vs. PC in the future.

      Is that why Mac sales are decreasing quarter after quarter?

  • a ridiculous amount of that is caused by people who don't understand function over form. Every business = windows, every art student = mac, but there really is no explaining college students. You need an excel-like program (and there are great free ones) for math, unless you are an engineer. You need a decent email system, and if your school doesn't default to one, you went to the wrong place. You need a word processor, to fix your many spelling and grammatical errors. That's it. Buy the cheapest one that i

  • What about Samsung? (Score:5, Informative)

    by viperidaenz (2515578) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @01:49AM (#45973313)

    Apple apparently sold around 260M devices in 2013.
    I can't find a full year for Samsung, but they sold 117M phones in Q3 alone.

    Q1: 64M
    Q2: 70M
    Q3: 117M

    That's 251M in just 3 quarters. Phones only, no tablets, no laptops.

    Apple sales include Mac, iPods, iPhones and iPads.

  • Apple "devices"? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @01:56AM (#45973351)

    Apple "devices"? So they're including iPods and phones in this? lol

    Apple marketing at its best.

    • Apple marketing at its best.

      Even Apple isn't this stupid. This is an analyst trolling for attention.

    • by Swampash (1131503)

      iOS is a fork of OS X. Those two operating systems are far more closely related than, say, Windows 95 and Windows 8 - both of which are included as just "Windows" on the graph.

  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:05AM (#45973405)

    since were comparing the entire apple product line to one of microsofts, I think its only fair to toss in the second most popular MS product line out there and see how those numbers add up

    • since were comparing the entire apple product line to one of microsofts, I think its only fair to toss in the second most popular MS product line out there and see how those numbers add up

      Does the Xbox have a word processor? A spreadsheet? A presentation creator? Does it have any photo manipulation apps or drawing programs with layers and filters? Are there any movie editors, effects composition apps? Does it have any music creation software available for it?

      • by kamapuaa (555446) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:24AM (#45973495) Homepage

        Yes!

        --

        Sent from my XBox360

      • by bloodhawk (813939)

        since were comparing the entire apple product line to one of microsofts, I think its only fair to toss in the second most popular MS product line out there and see how those numbers add up

        Does the Xbox have a word processor? A spreadsheet? A presentation creator? Does it have any photo manipulation apps or drawing programs with layers and filters? Are there any movie editors, effects composition apps? Does it have any music creation software available for it?

        Does an Ipod?

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:08AM (#45973849)

      That's the total to date over years....

      Or about the same as something like a month or two of iOS sales.

  • by warewolfsmith (196722) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:14AM (#45973447)
    Loads of reviews have been written about Windows 8. Some loved it. Some hated it. But they all say the same thing: Windows 8 will require a major retraining for Windows users and there doesn't seem to be some great big advantage for all the relearning, particularly for business users. If Windows 9 retains the Metro interface then Microsoft really is doomed.
    • by ATMAvatar (648864)
      If you run it in desktop mode, there's very little re-training to do. The only significant difference is that it has a start screen rather than a menu. The lack of a menu hierarchy is a bit jarring to those who relied upon it, but the searching works just fine, and you can still pin important items to the task bar. I have run 8.1 at work since my workstation upgrade a month or so ago, and I have very few complaints.
  • I have a phone.
    My wife has a phone.
    Our son has a phone.

    My family then has one computer with three accounts on it.

    Sure there are families with multiple computers and one phone, but I doubt that one phone is passed around each day to a different family member. A mobile phone isn't consumed like it was a mobile version of a land line (one line per household).

    So instead of selling one device per household with a computer, you sell one device per member of household. A much larger addressable market.

  • I got a Macbook pro retina, enjoying OS X in a nice hardware package. I also enjoy my xperia phone, but with all the crap that google has been pulling recently and the fact sony doesn't have the balls to make their own OS(I really like the xperia hardware), I contemplated moving to the iPhone. But that irongrip Appstore and platform coupled design decisions I can't stand really scare me away from the device. Apple, allow me to use 3rd party app stores, give me a decent built in file manager, give me somethi
  • Really? We're equating phones, ipods and tablets to PCs now? Walk into an office with an iPad and tell your boss you don't need a computer any more. See how far that gets you. By the same token, there are more bikes than cars, I guess Detroit better hang it up and call the liquidators, bikes won.

    "devices" aren't even in the same area code as PCs and laptops, capability and *usability* wise. Trying to equate one to the other is ludicrous. One observation that stuck with me about tablets vs computers is

    • I was working on roughly the same comment...you just point out the stupidity of this article far more efficiently then i did, so ill comment here instead.

      My analogy was that they sold more fries then oranges so clearly oranges must suck.

    • by Bert64 (520050) <bert@slashd[ ]fi ... m ['ot.' in gap]> on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:19AM (#45973719) Homepage

      Yes, because a lot of PC users do nothing more than facebook and email... Many people bought them simply because they were the only or cheapest way to access the limited functions of the internet that they make use of.
      But for these people an ipad is actually a far superior device, they don't have to worry about malware infections or having to manually update a bunch of different software, or maintaining a software firewall, or running av scans, or any of that junk.
      PCs were never "ready for the desktop", they were used because there was no better alternative. Now that better alternatives are available, users are using them.

    • by symbolset (646467) * on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:11AM (#45973863) Journal
      My Nexus 5 smartphone is a computer. Its specs are right up there with a laptop in every way. It has 2 office suites installed on it, and I can and do use external displays, Bluetooth mouse and keyboard with it. It also goes with me everywhere. A computer can't get much more personal than that until they start implanting them. It is a personal computer and I would have no problem using this setup to work all day.
  • "There was concentration in decision making in the 80s so a platform could win by convincing 500 individuals who had the authority (as CIOs) to impose through fiat a standard on the centers of gravity of purchasing power."

    Apple products were *far* more expensive in the 80's and 90's. And the OS wasn't that good.

    OSX was a major change for Apple. It was a stable, modern platform with a future. The pricepoints of PCs dropping was the other major change. Now PCs are so cheap that even if a Mac is double

  • Apples and Oranges (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jevring (618916) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:50AM (#45973805) Homepage
    Way to go, you've published another bullshit article about the end of something. By that rationale, I should be able to say something like "the number of wrist watches in the world are far more than apple devices". Or, for that matter, "the number of actual apples (fruit) in the world are far more than apple devices". Please keep this bullshit off of slashdot!
  • or if it is, it's pretty irrelevant. Don't Android devices outsell iOS like 4 to 1? If those numbers for PC sales are correct, we should be hearing news about how Android outsold PCs long ago. Who cares about Apple?

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