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Apple Devices To Reach Parity With Windows PCs In 2014 511

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 @01:34AM (#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 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 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 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 Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @01:59AM (#45973365)

    so only in 80% of the world that android wins, good thing you clarified that dude.

    80% of the world where people don't own PCs personally and a smartphone is their only personal connection to the internet. And the 80% of the world where most of the people are financially forced to go for the lowest priced option. In the 20% of the world where people generally have the financial circumstances to be able to have a choice in the matter, then its close with respect to sales. However in actual usage iOS is far ahead of Android. This is probably due to tablets. Android seriously lags when one only looks at tablets.

  • by E-Rock ( 84950 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:01AM (#45973377) Homepage

    Wins what? I never understand why people pick a tribe and then pray for the destruction of their foes.

    We only win when there are multiple viable choices available. Once someone 'wins' their focus turns to consolidation and not to innovation.

  • 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

  • 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 vux984 ( 928602 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:18AM (#45973463)

    Are people using their Xboxes as PC replacements?

    Are they using their ipod's and apple TVs as PC replacements?

  • by smittyoneeach ( 243267 ) * on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:16AM (#45973703) Homepage Journal
    I'm still on my Galaxy IIS. An upgrade would be swell, but do I really NEED such? Not really, and I, for one, have shifted from a "want" economy to a "need" economy. One of the few ways you can easily stick it to The Man (or at least the IRS) these days is put the spare loot against standing debt, and not new gadgets.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:18AM (#45973713)

    Don't get confused about this; There are two tribes here; "slightly open" and "closed" and which one wins will make a real difference. This is a question of total control. Android already has clones and fully viable internal competitors (Amazon's kindle systems; chinese ones, etc). IOS to a large extent and Windows 100% arew becoming closed systems in which large media companies and "approved" developers will have special powers nobody else shares.

    Currently Microsoft is subsidising every phone they sell. They pay for marketing for Windows 8 and demand that it is the only operating system mentioned on PC suppliers sites. If Microsoft ever gets to 30% market share there will be a massive closedown and that investment they are making now will have to be recovered.

    Google saw this some time ago and realised that, when Apple or Microsoft get complete control of the market their search will be locked out of almost every new device. They are now somewhat on the side of freedom and openness just because they realised that closed and locked is a trap for them. That doesn't make them good, and the fact that their backs are against the wall may make them dangerous, however compared to their competitors they aren't "evil". Hope they win, because if anyone else does there is no chance of another competitor arising ever again.

  • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) < ... NBSDom minus bsd> 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 @03:48AM (#45973801) Journal
    Exactly this. Google is showing the power of open. All your stuff works with all your other stuff. Amazing.
  • 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!
  • by dwater ( 72834 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:56AM (#45973811)

    batteries expire and many 'common' (ie iPhone) phones batteries and also many uncommon (eg Nokia Windows Phones) aren't easily replaced - having said that, Steve managed to do it, so I guess I could : [],d.ZGU&cad=rja []

    I recall him saying he is 'coming around' to the mindset of sealed batteries in a recent Phones Show too : []

  • 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.
  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:45AM (#45973993)

    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.

    Firstly; by "PC"s you should understand "laptops". Desktops are already quite rare in most companies outside call centres. Even workers who sit in the same place every day are expected to be able to move to a conference room with their computer and show a presentation.

    I'm sure that happens but I'm not seeing much of that. Of course I work in software development, not a whole lot of powerpoint presentations being created. Conference rooms tend to have a PC in them if needed. YMMV.

    Still, good point in mentioning laptops. However my laptops tend to last four or more years too. As I mentioned above I have a desktop PC that I use for gaming. Occasionally upgrading the video card and less frequently upgrading the motherboard (5+ years on the current one).

    Secondly, you should understand that, for most users the system they use is Windows or OS X. They are "forced" to upgrade by their system becoming obsolete.

    Just installed Windows 8.1 on that 5+ year old PC. My 2008 Macbook only recently became unable to run the current version of the Xcode development environment, its the last of the non-64 bit machines not supported by Mountain Lion or Mavericks. And most users are not doing Mac OS or iOS development where they are tied to applications that are quite aggressive about needing the latest OS. I really don't see many people being forced to get new systems, even laptops. YMMV.

    With these criteria there is always something horribly wrong with the PC. The screens are almost always lower resolution, which turns out to be a limitation after a year or two.

    If the laptop is a desktop replace then it would probably be plugged into an external monitor at one's desk.

    The power supplies are plugged in in a way that means that one simple mistake and your computer falls on the ground and breaks. MacBooks use a magnetic power supply that makes it rarer.

    Again in that desktop replacement environment that doesn't seem to happen too often. Admittedly in school I developed good freeze reflexes when I felt a little snag on my legs or feet. :-)

    Then we come to plasticky badly designed cases, which crack after a year or two. Admittedly that has got better, but I still think a new Mac is going to survive drops better than most PC laptops. This all adds up to the likelyhood that you, or someone you know, will be using your PC after five years is less than the chance for a Mac.

    My 2005 Dell Latitude with a crappy plastic case and all survived three years of school with all its tripping hazards, hard use from constantly moving around, etc. It eventually retired to a desktop where it still gets occasional use for Windows XP compatibility testing. YMMV. Admittedly the state of its batteries pretty much confines it to a desktop. It was replaced by that 2008 Macbook that only recently becomes trouble to use due to a lack of upgradability.

  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:17AM (#45974111)

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:52AM (#45974253)

    So much stupidity in your post.

    I don't know what the vast majority of Android users are doing, but it certainly isn't contributing to the ecosystem

    You mean Android users aren't acting like entitled ass wipes and buying overpriced crap like people do on overpriced iPhones?

    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.

    You drink a lot of apple flavored koolaid if you believe that garbage. If I don't use my Android to waste bandwidth and purchase crap on the web, then I'm not actually using it?

    The reality is that a lot of iPhones are purchased by easily manipulated suckers, and they are easily parted from their money through a steady diet of consumer drivel marketing.

    Of course, given that most Androids are crap-droids that people are buying to replace their featurephones

    Figures from Gartner [] indicate that in Q3 2013, Android accounted for nearly 82% of all smartphone sales in the period.

    Don't worry though! Apple had 12.1% of smartphones--or 30 million devices compared to 205 Million Android smartphones. And those are SMARTPHONES, not feature phones--Android sold nearly another 100 Million feature phones as well.

    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

    Completely incorrect. Samsung's S4/Notes sold nearly 90 Million units last year alone--equal to Apple's sales of iPhone 5c and 5s. And Samsung is only approximately 40% of the Android market.

    You just don't know what you are talking about.

  • 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 []

    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 []

    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 []

    #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 Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @06:28AM (#45974397)

    If you look at Betamax it was regarded as being a bit better than VHS but was less widely licensed. Betamax started off with almost all of the market but gradually lost it because Betamax machines tended to be expensive.

    I'd say the analogy is pretty good. High end but proprietary system gradually loses market share to more open, cheaper competitor.

    You can buy a very good, cheap Android handset from one of the zillions of Android OEMS. That enables Android to gain market share amongst people who can't afford a more expensive iPhone.

  • by oldlurker ( 2502506 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @06:37AM (#45974425)

    Apple is to Betamax as Android is to VHS.

    Interesting comparison, depending on what you mean by it. As someone there at the time, I think it is a myth that Betamax was a better product. It had somewhat better image quality, yes. But a video recorder that couldn't tape a full movie without you returning home from your dinner to turn the tape before leaving again is not a superior home video technology. Depending on whether you are positive or negative to Apple, this could be interpreted as "typical Apple, you are using it wrong" or very unlike the user-friendly Apple user experience.

    Another reason VHS won is more directly similar to Apple vs Android. VHS won because it was an open standard a myriad of manufactors freely adopted, Betamax wasn't - it was controlled and licensed at significant cost. Because of this obvious stronger consumer appeal, they got the content owners betting on them, including porn (another myth).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @06:43AM (#45974445)

    Actually that's also how the PC won over the Apple computer: First, by demand of IBM, there were two manufacturers of the processor, enabling competition on the processor side (that's ultimately why now the x86-based architecture is dominant). Second, the PC design was open (although that was only because in the beginning, IBM didn't really believe in the PC), so there was competition also in the PCs themselves.

  • by multimediavt ( 965608 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @08:29AM (#45974827)

    Exactly this. Google is showing the power of open. All your stuff works with all your other stuff. Amazing.

    As long as it all runs the same version, or you're willing to take the time to make it work. Let's keep this real. There's enough BS flying around both camps. The "closed" environment is bound to be more interoperable, look at Adobe and Microsoft. The cons are that they are only interoperable with their own kind. Which one is better? The one that lets you work the way you want. Just because it doesn't work for you doesn't make it bad.

  • by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @08:29AM (#45974829) Homepage Journal

    Most Android devices allow you to expand the storage via SD or USB. With iOS devices you get what you get. That's not a perfect analogy to recording time, but it's a serious drawback IMO.

  • 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?

  • by gutnor ( 872759 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @09:11AM (#45975079)

    Sure let see how that looks: IPod vs all the other MP3 player, Linux vs Windows. You can go further: Linux is going strong despite "losing", Apple was profitable despite a negligible market share, ...

    That's not even considering that we are talking about Apple vs Android, which should be Sony vs VHS. Sony eventually embraced VHS. Apple did not abandon OSX. Worked for both of them.

    High Level comparison like that are only good for fortune cookie type wisdom.

  • by Goody ( 23843 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @09:21AM (#45975127) Journal

    Jeans and a shirt is a good analogy. It's comfortable and it just works. I'm almost middle aged and I wear jeans and a shirt because that's what I've always worn outside of work, not to look young and cool. It's basically the same reason I use an iPhone. It just works, reliably. It seems the Android guys are continually worried about OS upgrades, shiny new phone models, and what Apple is or isn't doing. iPhone users meanwhile are just using their phones.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Thursday January 16, 2014 @09:38AM (#45975217) Homepage Journal

    It's only Apple fans on Slashdot who go on endlessly about updates, and in fact Android users get most updates via apps rather than OS version number bumps.

    In actual fact if that's what you care about your best bet is a Nexus phone or Play edition. You get prompt updates from Google, and crucially they stop doing OS updates when your device is no longer fast enough to run them. From the on you get feature updates via apps. Unlike the iPhone you don't have your device made unusable slow after a few years to encourage you to upgrade.

    Since Nexus devices are so much cheaper you can buy the latest one more often too, so you get a hardware update as well as software.

  • by Fishchip ( 1203964 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @10:15AM (#45975469)
    And this is still the overarching problem with this whole article. It's Apple mobile devices vs Windows PCs. Different products, different lifecycles. Of course you're going to have more sales when you're replacing your device three or four times as often. I need a picture of Inigo Montoya telling people 'parity' doesn't mean what they think it means (or rather, in this context, what they want it to mean).
  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @10:44AM (#45975709) Homepage

    Macs don't have small margins. As for why they think about it, because OSX is an important upsell for iOS. An OSX/iOS user is not only spending quite a bit more, but they are much stickier than an iOS user only. That means potentially the ability to lock up the $400+ phone market for a generation.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @01:45PM (#45977641) Homepage

    The beauty of a free market is that there isn't "the consumer".

    This isn't some centrally planned economy we're talking about. Everyone is free to participate. No one is going to leave money on the table if they are able. Every niche will be pandered too.

    There will be someone to cater to all of the choices you try to sneer at.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.