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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 tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot&worf,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 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 Bert64 ( 520050 ) < ... NBSDom minus bsd> on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:06AM (#45973649) Homepage

    The mobile web traffic stat ties in with the budget handset stat... Apple only target the high end, so their customers generally have more money to spend on data service and other things in general. This means they use the service more, buy more apps and are better targets for advertisers.

  • 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.

  • by Decker-Mage ( 782424 ) <> on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:12AM (#45973867)

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

    Apple is to Betamax as Android is to VHS. [Unlikely I'm the first to posit that historical correlation.] As to the Android tablet vs. Windows Desktop, well that's small 'a' apples to oranges. The price may be comparable, the performance is nowhere the same. Yet. [And never will be which is why I'm trying all sorts of techniques to come up with seamless integration and dynamic loading across the platforms. Pipe dream, but still fun. For certain definitions of fun.]

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:40AM (#45973973) Homepage Journal

    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.

    Do you have any reliable, current citations for this? The only evidence I have ever seen were some ancient articles on Apple fan sites. My own personal site gets more Android hits than iOS, so I'm sceptical.

  • by Gavagai80 ( 1275204 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:46AM (#45973997) Homepage
    I have an android phone and an android tablet, and almost never browse websites on either of them. That's not what I bought them for, I've no desire for mobile internet (maybe I could use it once a month but that's not worth buying a data plan). The phone is for music, games, calls and texts. The tablet is for reading and games. My desktop PC is for internet.
  • SO WHAT!? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:55AM (#45974027)

    I get it, and your ENTIRE post was centered on that point: Apple users have more disposable money than Android users. It matters much less than elitists think it means. In the end, Android makes the impact, even if it doesn't appeal to the top 10% earners.

    I know full well that in USA and the UK, and some other (but not that many) parts of the world, richer == better person. That is not necessarily true (lying and cheating are the most important success factor according to recent research - make of it what you will) and having other goals in life than hoarding money doesn't make that life less interesting. But I realize this is incredibly difficult if not impossible for the average USian to comprehend. Hence these discussions will always be framed in terms "but iOS users purchase way more than Android users ---> iOS better!!".

  • by BigZee ( 769371 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @08:27AM (#45974817)
    I have to say, I'm always surprised that people complain about Betamax tape length. I had both 3 and 4 hour tapes and I expect that if Sony had continue development, I would have had LP and even EP modes. Whilst I do realize that very early on there was a length issue, this was not the case for most of the life of the product.

    With respect to VHS being 'open', that wasn't the case either. I'm pretty certain that every VHS recorder sold included a license back to JVC. Now, it's true there were far more manufacturers of VHS recorders but Sony was not the only company to produce Betamax machines. Sanyo and Telefunken also produced them and there are probably others I'm not aware of.

    There are far too many myths regarding this sort of thing, each markets had different issues. The practical reality was that Betamax probably was a better product in many respects, certainly the majority of Sony machines were built as premium products. Also, Betamax generally had features before they appeared on VHS (shuttle search, peep search HiFi - not just stereo - sound). However, none of these were enough of a factor in it becoming dominant. VHS, with more manufacturers was often a product you could find cheaper and still had enough features. Although you can have a long argument about picture and sound quality, if Betamax was better, it wasn't enough to make enough people choose that product.

  • 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 the_B0fh ( 208483 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @10:45AM (#45975729) Homepage

    And the hundreds of millions of iOS users don't see that as a problem, and neither do Nexus and some of the Android users.

    What was your point again?

  • by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @10:56AM (#45975811) Journal
    But the google nexus, which many people believe is the best android smartphone because it's being offered by google themselves, does not offer expandable storage and only offers a maximum of 32gb compared to iPhone's 64gb. Also many android smartphones don't offer storage that would surpass 64gb even with maxing out the external storage.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"