Milestone: Apple computers outsold Windows PCs in Q4 2013

“In Q4 2013 the number of computers (Macs, iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads) sold by Apple was larger than the number of Windows PC sold globally,” Benedict Evans reports.

“If you add Windows Phone to the mix they’re more or less exactly equal,” Evans notes. [The Windows PC figures in the chart include Microsoft’s paltry Surface sales. – MDN Ed.]

“Apple limits itself only to the high end of the mobile market,” Evans reports, “but still sells more units than the whole PC industry.”

Benedict Evans: Apple iOS and Mac sales vs. Windows PC and Windows Phone sales
Source: Benedict Evans

Brief article in full here.

MacDailyNews Take: Steve JobsBoom!

Steve Jobs told the world exactly what he’d do:

If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it’s worth — and get busy on the next great thing. — Steve Jobs, February 19, 1996

We never doubted him:

As we have always said, even as many short-sightedly waved (and continue to wave) the white flag, the war is not over. And, yes, we shall prevail… No company is invincible. Not even Microsoft.MacDailyNews Take, January 10, 2005

As we wrote back in December:

Apple’s iPad is the first true personal computer for the vast majority of people. The longer IDC et al. ignore this fact, the more out-of-touch they will be perceived. It’s well past time for IDC, Gartner, etc. to begin counting iPads as what they are: Personal computers.

The “PC market” will continue “contracting” for as long as the bean counters insist on not counting all of the beans.

It’s not rocket science: The things for which the vast majority of people use/used personal computers is easily accomplished with an iPad. PCs are overkill for the vast majority of people, just like an 18-wheeler is vs. a car/SUV.MacDailyNews Take, January 9, 2013

As usual, Steve knew what would happen:

When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks, because that’s what you needed on the farm. But as vehicles started to be used in the urban centers, cars got more popular. Innovations like automatic transmission and power steering and things that you didn’t care about in a truck as much started to become paramount in cars… PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around, they’re still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people. – Steve Jobs, June 1, 2010

I see cannibalization as a huge opportunity for us. Our core philosophy is to never fear cannibalization. If we don’t do it, someone else will. We know that iPhone has cannibalized some of our iPod business. That doesn’t worry us. We know that iPad will cannibalize some Macs. But that’s not a concern.

On iPad in particular, we have the mother of all opportunities because the Windows market is much, much larger than the Mac market. It is clear that it is already cannibalizing some. I still believe the tablet market will be larger than the PC market at some point. You can see by the growth in tablets and pressure on PCs that those lines are beginning to converge.

If somebody buys an iPad mini or an iPad, if it’s their first Apple product, a percentage of these people wind up buying another type of Apple product. If you remember what we had termed the halo effect for the iPod with the Mac, we’re very confident that will happen with the iPad as well. – Tim Cook, January 23, 2013

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

Related articles:
Chart shows Apple has beaten Microsoft’s Windows monopoly – January 8, 2014
Steve Jobs’ revenge: Latest PC market forecast projects historic 10% downturn – December 3, 2013


      1. Uhhh… I read it, and it only discusses Apple and Windows. No word at all about Samsung or Google’s stupid OS. Last I checked, Samsung sells a ton more non-Windows phones than would be counted for in this “article”, if that’s what you really want to call it.

        1. Chromebooks. Hahahaha! I’m going to enjoy watching the Google admission of that flaming wreck later this year. I wonder if that will be the trigger for:

          T H E B U B B L E B U R S T I N G

          New spelling: GUUGLE. Get it? 😉 Never mind.

          1. The future of computing is Chromebooks. A budget conscious individual can buy one for under $250 and it does EVERYTHING a MacBook Air can do for the fraction of the cost. Let’s see Apple beat that. Now do you understand why Google is going to $1500 a share while Apple struggles to maintain $500 a share? CHROMEBOOKS for EVERYONE on the planet.


  1. It is important to remember that even Apple is not invincible. Tim needs to take Steve’s advice to heart.

    Apple should milk the iPhone for all it’s worth and get busy on the next great thing.

            1. thunk
              n 1: a dull hollow sound; “the basketball made a thunk as it hit the rim”

              Amusing: I was thinking perhaps a new definition should be added for think/thunk. But not really. Considering the hillbilly origins of ‘thunk’, ‘a dull hollow sound’ might be a perfectly adequate definition.

              [Ducking Hannah’s rejoinder!!] 😉

            2. Never mind that programmers haven’t commented on that word. How come nobody noticed that the comparison is between Mac/iOS and Windows? Ben didn’t mention Android or Google. Is it time to bring back the ‘R’ word?!

            3. Given the long-standing rivalry between Apple and Microsoft, I understand the slant that Ben is doling out. But, I too would love Android in these statistics.

              And, yes! Bring back retard! (oops!) 😉

            4. I don’t think anyone really considers Android a computing platform… Most would say it’s basically a phone OS, just as it was originally designed to be.

              Arguably, only a small segment of Android devices are used to do much of anything beyond “consumption”. Hell just look at web usage statistics and that’s one area you’d think they would be using their devices for?!

            5. Android is actually more of a computing platform than iOS with the much touted full-multitasking and Apps that actually allow you to write, test, run and distribute Android Apps.. I don’t remember seeing any iOS App do that yet..

  2. In other news, when counting bicycles, Taiwan leads the world in wheeled vehicle sales.

    iOS does not replace the Mac. While it’s great that Apple is profiting from low-cost portables, the Mac has not progressed as well as it should. Cook needs to reinvigorate the Mac platform rather than focusing the majority of his attention on dumbing down OS X to become a consumer platform.

    1. Nearly everything Apple has ever done has been targeted at the consumer (or very small business), not enterprise. I don’t know where you’ve been the last couple of years, but I’d say the Mac has progressed very well.

    1. I once met a guy who bought a Surface RT purely based on specs. He wasn’t a very smart person (unemployed IT doofus) and apparently had some serious debt issues. I’d guess there’s a lesson in there somewhere.

    2. I beg to differ. iPhones and iPads are most certainly computers by any definition of the word. Are they *enough* computer for all purposed? Of course not, but computers they are.

  3. Microsoft essentially did the same thing that Henry Ford did with the Model T. They had a product that took over their market and then they “milked it” as Steve would say, and never innovated. They never tried to even see the next big thing, let alone get out of their own way. Instead, they basked in their profits for years thinking the world would never change nor want any change. This is the fruits of their in-action, just as it was Henry Fords too.

    1. Well, to be fair. There was a lot more to it than that.

      Example: The fuel companies didn’t want their sales cut by innovations in fuel economy. (They still don’t, obviously).

      There certainly have been innovations in the gasoline engine. But then the patents get bought/buried and we’re still stuck with 40 miles per gallon as a rarity. It’s quite shocking to consider how manipulated we and the auto industry have been this entire past century. You’d swear that psychopaths run the human biznizz world. Maybe they do. 👿

      1. 40/gallon is commonplace in the UK and Europe, even 50-60+.
        My Skoda Octavia 1.9TDi will do 63/gallon on a steady motorway run, and that’s a thirteen year old car.
        It’ll do 40-ish on urban driving.

        1. The USA: In-the-pocket car manufacturers. Oil is very pleased.

          Also, setting aside those who require large vehicles, there continues to be a large culture of large car fanatics, no matter how fuel inefficient such cars may be.

          Clearly, much of the rest of the world has been allowed to catch up with reality; Not much in the USA. I can very much verify that as a citizen here, the corporate manipulation is blatant. It’s been that way for my entire lifetime. — But I’m getting off into the abstract. I know others are much better on this subject.

  4. I think this graphic is all messed up, if they are comparing ONLY MS vs Apple, then on both sides you should include phones, then the conclusion is not the Apple has surpassed MS…yet..
    Or on both not include the phones (depending whether you consider smartphones a computer)…which the graph doesn’t show so no conclusion on that.
    I personally prefer tablets+computers comparison only…
    Then again what about game consoles?…I understand thats also a computer…its getting complicated…

    1. ‘Computers’ as it is being used here is maybe too general.. How about we define it as a platform that can generate programs that can run on itself? That would separate ‘consumption’ platforms like smartphone, tablets and the like from ‘producing’ platforms like PCs and laptops.. Though when I think about it will only exclude iOS since Windows and Android both have tools to allow you to create full apps that run on themselves.

  5. And once again the numbers prove the Anal-ists know absolutely NOTHING! Driving Apple’s stock down after the biggest record quarter. Now again more numbers show more gains for Apple. Samsung doesn’t give out actual sales numbers so they don’t count anyways. There sales were down like all the other PC’s including there smartphones. Amazing how suddenly after being blocked from copying Apple they have dried out on sales. No stunning new products probably because they don’t know how to make one without copying someone else’s first. Proof of that is when they brought out that thing they called a smart watch. More like a dumb terminal for there tablet that barely fit on someone’s wrist. They should have called it the Sam-dumb watch.

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