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Apple's iOS sales are nearly ahead of Windows PCs

By Dieter Holger · 36 replies
Jul 24, 2015
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  1. Growing sales of Apple iOS devices are helping reshape the computing landscape. Yearly sales between iOS devices and Windows computers are now tied, according to Menlo Park venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. And if the trend continues, sales of iOS devices will soon overtake Windows PCs.

    Apple's Mac OS X computers make up less than 13.4 percent of the market, behind Dell and HP. But the company sold 57.9 million iOS devices -- which includes iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches -- in its third-quarter. While Apple's mobile ecosystem made record-breaking gains, sales of Windows computers peaked in June 2011 and have slowly but steadily declined since.

    In general, mobile device sales will grow tremendously in the next few years, with CCS Insight forecasting 2.35 billion smartphones sales in 2019.

    In contrast, global PC shipments saw the sharpest decline in close to two years during the second quarter of 2015 -- 9.5% according to Gartner and 11.8% according to IDC. Although IDC expects PC sales to continue to decline 1-2% on a yearly basis through 2018, the next several months could be telling as Microsoft is gearing up to launch Windows 10 in just a few days.

    Is the Windows PC doomed? We don't think so. But millions of people, who might have before bought a new Windows computer, appear to be keen on spending their money on an Apple iOS device instead, and that's not even counting the millions who buy Android tablets and smartphones.

    Permalink to story.

  2. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,893   +2,220

    B8 article. Smartphones will NEVER replace the need for PC's. The vast majority of people who have smartphones also have a PC(whether windows or mac). Frankly I don't think mobile operating systems should be compared desktop operating systems. I really don't think smartphones or tablets will ever replace the need for desktop PC's.

    First and foremost, typing on a touch screen is one of the biggest pains there is on this planet. I'd like to see students write essays on touch devices. I also bet all the authors here at techspot loath the idea of having to write articles on a touch screen.

    Mobile devices are meant to be complementary to a PC, not a replacement.
    Yarrow, Lionvibez, ikesmasher and 2 others like this.
  3. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 1,006   +249

    I think you are being a little short sighted. Just look at Microsoft's mobile continuum feature. Connect your phone to a keyboard + mouse + larger screen and it acts like a PC. Since the MS Office apps will scale, it will be like working on a PC. It remains to be seen how effective the feature will be when first launched, but it's clear that in the near future, users who only browse the web and work on Office will not need full fledged PCs anymore.
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,160   +1,413

    No kidding... we're comparing anything that runs iOS to PCs running windows now? This sounds like some weird attempt at making iOS sound popular... which isn't needed because everyone knows it is popular.

    if you want to make an article about 'will smartphones replace PCs', then at least have evidence of it.
    SikSlayer and jobeard like this.
  5. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,893   +2,220

    To get the full features out of continuum on phones you need a PC to dock it to. There are physical limitations to what smartphones can do, not just software limitations.
  6. *raises hand*

    Been there done that. Mobile will not replace PC anytime soon, but writing on a (tablet) touch screen is just as easy as on a laptop.
  7. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 1,006   +249

    Where have you read that you need a full PC? That would make the feature kind of pointless, wouldn't it? Regardless, even if that is a requirement now, it won't be in the future. MS or some other company could easily make a laptop shell that only includes a keyboard and larger monitor, like the Motorola Atrix attempted to do. The technological capabilities are there already.
    9Nails likes this.
  8. Greg S

    Greg S TS Evangelist Posts: 1,607   +443

    People buy phones every two years or so. People buy computers maybe every five to ten years if you are a typical consumer not a tech enthusiast. Which one is going to sell more? Duh....
    Cryio likes this.
  9. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,893   +2,220

    Continuum is about more than just crossplatform coding. It allows you to dock your phone at a PC and have your table or phone function in a full desktop environment. PC's effectively become terminals that you link your phone to and have access to your apps and files. I didn't read that, I watched it in the Windows 10 Tech Demo

    Go to about 22 minutes if you're interested
  10. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    It's amazing, and crazy to think about, but that modern smart phone or tablet is a very capable computer. For the last several generations of Windows we've not had the system requirements lifted. All while Mobile CPU's have caught up or surpassed PC specifications from 10 years ago, and updated with better RAM and larger displays.

    This is Apple's way of skewing the numbers ahead of what they fear, the Windows 10 launch. It's spun as good news for Apple where they fell short in other areas. But Windows System sales isn't counting systems in the market. Take the big picture into consideration and there's still more reason to develop software on Microsoft. Microsoft could have a billion+ devices running Windows 10 in the first weak on launch.
    OneSpeed likes this.
  11. OneSpeed

    OneSpeed TS Evangelist Posts: 312   +125

    Apple skews whenever, and with whatever possible. Move along, nothing here...
    9Nails likes this.
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,898   +1,530

    OK code this
    #include <stdio.h>
    #include <stdlib.h>
    int main() {
        printf("Hello World\n");
    compile it
    and then run your new app
  13. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 520   +459

    Retarded comparison, or should I say, marketing mutter from Apple, comparing two different environments. Throw in Android, it will then make more sense...
    mosu likes this.
  14. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,898   +1,530

    Here's the results:
  15. Michael Majere

    Michael Majere TS Member

    I have an Idea.. If we want to compare Apples to..... windows... how about Apple OSX sales Vs Windows OS sales. Show me an Article of them Competing in the same Field. We know iOS is Slaughtering Windows Phone. I would Freaking hope iOS can beat Window PC sales considering more mobile units exists then PCs.

    Better yet, if you want to compare the portable world, how about Apple Macbook sales Vs Windows based Laptop sales? How about Windows Desktops Vs Apple's MAC. How about Windows OS Vs Apple OSX vs Linux OS Sales?

    My household has 2 Desktops(Windows) , 2 Laptops(windows) , 2 Tablets (Android) and 3 Mobiles (Android). My Phabletâ„¢ sits typically on the charger unless it's called while I tap away at my home built Desktop. Which I upgrade parts in as most people do these days vs Buying a full blown new machine anymore( add that to your statistic, more End-Users now upgrade existing machines). The Wife is always on her S5, and the Mother in Laws Nexus 5 sits charging and she only takes it out when she leaves the house. Otherwise she is on her laptop or heading to this weird, foreign place called "Outside" and keeping things alive that cause everyone allergies. Occasionally she uses her Desktop (12 years old.. Damn Dell won't die! She wont replace it until it does) Going by your Computations.. our Windows machines are doomed because they are outnumbered by additional devices used to supplement us when at work( Exception being Candy Crush obsessed Wife) .
  16. Nitrotoxin

    Nitrotoxin TS Addict Posts: 142   +96

    This is so laughable I almost fell out of my chair. No-one is buying Windows PC's atm because they are all waiting for Windows 10 to come out this week, so Apple comes in while the we are all waiting for the Windows 10 release to spend our money and says "Look at me I caught up for a second..." *Falls out of chair laughing* BAHAHAHAHAHA
    mosu likes this.
  17. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,898   +1,530

    @Michael Majere Hate to tell you but others here have a variety of other experiences.
    Our Lan has
    1. One iMax OS 10.10 Yosemite
    2. One Del Laptop Win/7 Pro 64bit
    3. One Redhat Linux server
    4. One very old Win98/se as a file server
    5. An iPhone
    6. An iPad
    7. An iPod
    8. A Nokia 3g phone
    9. A WD TV console with sharing and HDMI to the Tv
    and nobody really cares :giggle: Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
    I spend easily 3x more time updating and maintaining the Laptop than all the others combined.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  18. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 8,253   +1,269

    Some valid arguments on both sides, but looking at the absolute numbers (and in clear absence of Android) the point being made by the article is simple. Apple is selling a ton of iOS powered devices and a decent amount of Macs, they are no longer a vocal minority in the computing space, and their ecosystem can potentially compete hand in hand with Windows.
  19. Yarrow

    Yarrow TS Enthusiast Posts: 31

    Favoritism aside, the technology market is changing... I have been using my wife as a willing technology test subject for some time and I am surprised to say she has gravitated towards her android phone over her laptop and over her tablet. My sister in law has dropped the PC and uses a tablet, so I surmise from this if you don't need the bells and whistles of a full formed Windows or Mac device you can easily manage with the latest phone or tablet. I also have to admit if I didn't have old eyes my tablet and UHD phone would at the least replace my PC's for internet and email... in fact the latest Samsung's and iPhones are incredibly powerful, I would say easily beating 10 year old PC technology, in fact I have to ask where is the "wonder" when you look at the latest phones and tablets, I have worked in the IT realm for over 3 decades and certainly never expected my phone to out perform my PC. Love it or hate it its a great time to be involved in the technology realm... This is certainly more exciting than Java.
  20. drjekelmrhyde

    drjekelmrhyde TS Evangelist Posts: 324   +113

    You don't need a full PC, you just need the $100 dock to plug it into a monitor or TV. When they start selling the 940/XL they or the carriers will thrown it in for free for the first three months.
  21. Cryio

    Cryio TS Addict Posts: 214   +75

    Apple is in the minority when it comes to the computer space though. They have maximum 16% PC market share.
  22. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,947   +1,492

    I litterally can't type a short message on a touchscreen without wanting to eat the phone. I hate it so much.
  23. Haveing worked in professional scientific and engineering offices for the last 30 years all I can say is that this is a pitiful example of BS, No office doing meaningfull technical work will countenance using iOS products in place of a PC.
    The total cost of ownership is very high, especially as the trend is to use non-removeable battery designs thereby preventing cost effective battery replacement, which is very cynical as current battery technology does fail, just speak to any IT professional who will deal with hundreds of devices not the one or two is a SOHO situation, typical seen from my companies corporate IT department shows lifespans are of the order of ~3 years for laptop battery (as they get more intensive use that home users) Most organisaitons keep their laptops for 4-5 years and as for desktops up to 6-8 years as they tend to filter older models to less demanding roles as they replace them with new ones and then often recycle them with external recyled pc suppliers.
    So on that basis alone the TCO on these devices will be excessive as these things are as expensive as a low end laptop. Also you cannot simply hand them back they must be securely wiped to adhere to Client security requirements.
    And now the elephant in the room... performance, so according to this BS a low spec ARM processor with a maxium of 4GB low power RAM and a low power draw SDcard is quivalent to a corporate machine eg Dell Precision T7600 and HP worsktations ...laughable! No one in any engineering/scientific field will touch these with a barge pole. Even HR use i5 based Dells & HPs.. if you compare ARM cpu performance on CPUBoss youll see that an ARM based cpu has the tpicallly performance of a AMD64... wow definitely a good choice.
    ....And dont get me started on the programs..well Apps as they are completley functionally retarded, just compare MS Office to that on IOS and Android.
    ...And what about network connectivity, corporates use gigbit ethernet... no way will wifi do, I know we tried using a corporate wireless connection to another site, still has drop outs regularly!
    So home users only then...and before you say but well they are the biggest user... again BS, everyone has to work and at work they use.... proper computers, even Point of Sale are a computer and do you seriously think that a supermarket will install a phone as a cash register or how about a bank teller or ATM, or what about at the hospital a phone running the medical records access point, or checkin/out the list goes on.
    The problem is that most journalists work with journalists & PR and Marketing people these could use a phone as their work is less techical (I mean compared to the swathes of people in aeropace/automotive/marine/civil engineering (there are over 1 million in the uk alone in direct and indirect ones and this ignores the scientific areas, e.g. polymer industry (tyre design, paint formulation, plastics (as used to encase your phone & laptop), pharmaceuticals, Physics, Chemical R&D and production,Petrochemicals, meteorogy, medical R&D, Financial services (forecasting requires numerical modeling) in fact anything that is not only sales and marketing will need a real computer for decades to come....
    So please stop this perennial BS about the death of the computer!
  24. LifeSimple

    LifeSimple TS Rookie

    I'm really annoying to see this kind of comparison on Techspot. As a tech website they can do better.
  25. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Evangelist Posts: 347   +165

    Decent amount of Macs? Please define "decent amount"... is it decent amount in comparison with the number of Windows based PCs?

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