Apple by far the largest computer maker on the planet when tablets and smartphones are counted

“It’s time to do the update for the 2011 final numbers of computer sales, when all types of computing devices are included,” Tomi Ahonen writes for Communities Dominate Brands. “We count traditional mainframes and servers, the PCs [and Macs] we know and love from desktops to laptops and netbooks, [and] tablet PCs like the iPad, and the smartphones, as well as that lingering PDA market which is still typified by the iPod touch.”

“By this definition – and please readers do remember, all major PC makers have already accepted that smartphones are indeed computers, so don’t bother to argue about that oldfashioned view that a smartphone would not be a proper computer, we do reach dizzying heights – the total computer market hit 950 million units sold last year,” Ahonen writes. “The computer market as thus defined, grew a massive 47% in just one year from 646 million units in 2010, and this growth was all driven by huge growth in smartphones and tablets, the legacy PC market was stagnant. And also just so you know, the 60 million unit tablet-market is projected by many analysts to pass 100 million in size this year, so yes, tablets are roughly one seventh the size of smartphones – yes, the smartphone market alone is 7 times bigger than the tablet market.”

Largest Computer Makers When Smartphones & Tablets Included

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lance” for the heads up.]


  1. I just figured out the last piece of the puzzle for Apple: they should buy Direct TV for about 65b. With Direct TV comes three letters: NFL. Then Apple could come out with an AppleTV product. This product would be available anywhere. The rest would fall into place. TV shows, sports on three screens. Itunes. Even software updates. Cable companies would be reduced to offering high speed data lines against phone companies. Apple could come out with a “world phone.”

    1. I’d vote for Dish Network as well. They come closest to the ideal with 2000 HR HD Multi-room DVRs and recording six channels at once. It makes up for all of the weaknesses of 20th century TV and really only needs to be available on iOS devices worldwide.

      1. “Not everyone likes the NFL” … why, you could say that about anything on earth. So how does that add to the story?

        Adding the NFL would provide a major feature for iTV and other iOS devices. The number of subscriptions for NFL viewing could create a critical mass which would attract other broadcasters & video production companies to Apple’s iDevices. That is what Rp meant (above) when he said that after the NFL “the rest would fall into place.”

  2. Not sure if the analysis adds anything to the debate. If you add smartphones, tablets and computers into the mix you’re literally talking about 90% of Apple’s total revenues. And if you look at Apple’s revenues as a comparative to the rest of the tech industry, you’re literally talking about a giant amongst midgets, although that was not the case a couple of years ago. Apple has taken off like a rocket ship after the introduction of the iPhone.

    Apple’s revenues have outstripped IBM and HP which used to be the colossus of the electronics industry. You could argue that IBM and HP derive most of their revenues from consulting services and you’d be right. So as a hardware manufacture Apple stands head and shoulders above the rest.

  3. I’m fairly certain this measurement is not going to be acknowledged by anyone on Wall Street. They don’t like this sort of disruption of the old school thinking. A freaking toy company, for crissakes. Using this “all types of computers” measurement would acknowledge that Apple is the wealthiest and most powerful computer maker on the planet and how can they accept something like that. I’ll bet Apple is still being modeled for zero growth rate by Wall Street.

  4. I’m starting to allow myself to believe the possibility that Apple has maybe achieved critical mass, but I’m still afraid of getting my hopes up.

    Maybe I’ll feel better when they have 51% of the sales and 95% of the profits.

    Then I can retire. Maybe.

  5. this counting of units ignores the orders of magnitude difference in cost between a mainframe and a pda. if things were all within an order of magnitude cost of each other then this would ok as an approximation.
    why not count modern printers; they have hard drives or flash drives, touch screens or keypads, memory, etc. this would shoot hp up the list a bit.

    1. I’ll bet many more of HP’s 64.5 M sold are cheap machines used for point-of-purchase transactions or assembly line nodes as opposed to main frames. The traditional PC numbers ignores the orders of magnitude between and iPhone and a low cost HP POP machine. It would be interesting to see the market based on computational power. I’ll bet Apple outsells everyone on computational power.

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