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Apple Devices To Outsell Windows For First Time Ever In 2013 391

zacharye writes "Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have long been considered the future of computing and a new projection from market research firm Gartner shows just how important the mobile market has become. According to the firm's estimates for 2013, Apple devices will outsell Windows devices for the first time this year. The estimate takes into account sales of Apple's iPhones, iPads and Mac computers as well as desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones powered by Microsoft's various Windows operating systems..."
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Apple Devices To Outsell Windows For First Time Ever In 2013

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  • by pcjunky ( 517872 ) <> on Friday April 05, 2013 @09:12PM (#43374981) Homepage

    Mobile phones really skewed things. However if you take things like Andriod into account Apple's share is still quite small. It just that Microsoft has almost no presence in the mobile phone market. Bill would not have let this happen had he still been in charge.

    • by skine ( 1524819 ) on Friday April 05, 2013 @09:24PM (#43375087)

      It is interesting, though, that after all these years of /. saying that "20XX is the Year of Linux on the Desktop," Unix-Like devices actually account for more than half of computing devices.

      Granted, they aren't as FOS as we might have hoped for.

      • They're not as "obscure commands typed at the console" as you might have hoped either.

        "Focus follows mouse" debates, where are you now?

    • by dc29A ( 636871 ) * on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:03PM (#43375411)

      Bill would not have let this happen had he still been in charge.

      Ah yes, Bill Gates the visionary. Almost missed TCP/IP (had to be begged to implement it) ... and the Internet. Was the SPAM problem supposed to be solved in what? 3 years in 2004? Bill let the whole tablet market slip from his fingers, at least a good 9 years before the iPad.

      He was in the right place at the right time. Nothing more. Definitely not a visionary.

  • by Megor1 ( 621918 ) on Friday April 05, 2013 @09:12PM (#43374989) Homepage
    Did they include Xbox and windows CE devices?
    • by transporter_ii ( 986545 ) on Friday April 05, 2013 @09:48PM (#43375293) Homepage

      Don't forget the Zunes. Whatever their final total was, add +8 to it, so it reflects the Zunes.

      • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

        I saw a zune the other day. One guy I work with has one and he listens to music on it. I was amazed and asked him why he bought it. His wife gave it to him for Christmas one year.

      • by skine ( 1524819 )

        I know that Zunes get a bad rap, but I bought my Zune as an open box item at Best Buy when it first came out, and it's probably the only device that I own that's that old and still works perfectly.

        (I own a number of old video game consoles, but they tend to all need special treatment. For example, for my Sega Genesis, I have to blow into the cartridge, blow into the slot on the console, insert the game in all the way, raise the cartridge back up about 1-2mm, shove my wallet underneath the power cable where

      • Sorry, but that's Windows CE, my friend.

    • That's a good point. I looked and looked but can't find evidence that Gartner considered an xbox as something running "Windows". I did find this article that says that Apple TV was outselling the Xbox on a per quarter basis as late as last year []. Lifetime sales of Xbox are still higher, but Xbox has been around a long while. While I don't doubt that a new Xbox release would reverse this, what I don't get is what Microsoft would possibly do with a new console that would make it worth buying. A little har
    • Xbox sales is very small in comparison. Microsoft have sold a total of about 70 million units of Xboxes since 2005. Currently they sell like half a million each month - basically neglectable compared with total sales of windows; its even less then windows mobile.

      As for Windows CE its hard to find data of number of licenses but its also small given that Linux is comming along and many are already using Linux or switching too it. Microsoft has tried to relauch WinCE as WIndows Compact 8 during 2013. Doubt it

    • The whole thing is stupid period since those devices are all very different markets and kinds of devices. However it is even sillier to compare all of Apple's stuff to just Windows desktops and laptops. If we are going to grab random devices that happen to run stuff, well then there are actually a number of things that run CE, or the embedded versions of Windows.

      It actually is not all that impressive to say all of Apple's devices, desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, and so on managed to outsell Windows desk

  • by whozatmac ( 2771555 ) on Friday April 05, 2013 @09:12PM (#43374993)
    . . . Microsoft has done this to themselves. Having failed to come up with a compelling mobile space product, they decided to force the half baked mobile OS on desktops, where they had, for better or worse, at least established themselves. No one is buying windows 8 machines that owns any previous windows computer. . . and those who hadn't bought a computer yet are buying tablets and phones and other internet consumption products. Now Microsoft wants to kill of thier segment of the content creation space. It's baffling.
    • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:02PM (#43375401)

      You know they should have taken a page out of their own success story. When IBM came knocking they bought an operating system and created MS-DOS out of it. They should have bought Nokia and gotten behind Maemo and put their own spin on it. Maybe a linux kernel with a MS proprietary system on top would have worked for them like Darwin under OS X did for Apple. No, they had to try to reinvent the wheel and it had a flat spot on it.

    • No one is buying windows 8 machines that owns any previous windows computer

      Except to replace a PC that currently runs an operating system that will stop receiving security patches a year from now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, 2013 @09:13PM (#43374995)

    In 2008, the Little Tykes Cozy Coupe was the best selling car in the US. However I don't think Toyota was overly concerned about the competition. Apple devices include things like the iPod. Microsoft's big money maker has always been business licensing. When Apple makes double digit market share in the enterprise arena, this will be news.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      In 2008, the Little Tykes Cozy Coupe was the best selling car in the US. However I don't think Toyota was overly concerned about the competition. Apple devices include things like the iPod. Microsoft's big money maker has always been business licensing. When Apple makes double digit market share in the enterprise arena, this will be news.

      Well that might be the cash cow but the castle guarding it is that "everyone" is on Windows. Netapplications now say 12% of all browsing happens on mobile+tablet and Macs+Linux has 8% on the desktop. together that means roughly one in five no longer surfs on Windows. That's pretty huge considering how recent tablets came along, if they lose the consumers their position would be very much weaker.

    • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Saturday April 06, 2013 @02:33AM (#43376701)
      You do realize that the iPhone makes more money than all of MS right? Quarter ending 12-31-2012: MSFT $21.42B [] Quarter ending 12-29-2012: Apple iPhone: $30.06B []
  • GARTNER? C'mon, these predictions get richer ever year. I'm not a fanboy of either, I have an iPad and Win8 PC. I dislike both companies, if anything. How many of the analyst prediction articles on Slashdot have came true? I'd bet my mortgage the percentage is small.
  • This is the same company that said in 2012 that over 350,000,000 PCs were shipped last year now claim only 150,000,000 this year?

  • by BenJeremy ( 181303 ) on Friday April 05, 2013 @09:35PM (#43375195)

    Obviously consumers are mostly staying away from Windows 8, which is slowing new PC sales... and in all honesty, there isn't an urge to upgrade PCs every year or two any more. We've reached a point of maturity in desktops and laptops, in terms of memory and drive space... the sweet spot seems to be around 8GB of RAM and 1TB of drive space. 90% of consumers do little more than surf, get e-mail and play games. Gaming hardware really hasn't vastly improved the user experience in a few years, even low end cards deliver nice graphics and performance on 1080p monitors.

    Combined with customers' concerns over the "Modern UI" in Windows 8, and there just isn't a lot of compelling reasons for consumers to purchase new equipment.

    Likewise... IT departments have likely slowed hardware refreshes in light of Windows 8. Many took a year or two to adopt Windows 7, which was a no-brainer upgrade after struggling with Vista (which many IT departments skipped). Again... nothing compelling to move into Windows 8 and integrate it into their common office environments, and hardware requirements of current software hasn't demanded more ram than most companies already have deployed.

    • It just turns out that personal computers aren't what you thought they were.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Yes MS really messed up with its xbox "low end cards deliver nice graphics and performance on 1080p monitors" ports are good enough.
      They could have ramped up the resolution and game world detail every year, forcing upgrades - it would have worked too.
      Now the lazy developers just port games to the PC with a few hi res textures and wonder why sales are not what they once where.
      MS and developers would push once work hard with GPU and CPU demands, ensuring a constant trade up and profit taking.
  • How was Windows outselling Apple before Windows existed?
    • Windows was introduced in 1985, so not sure what you are trying to say, last I checked 1985 was in the 80's
    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      > How was Windows outselling Apple before Windows existed?


      That's right. Microsoft nearly ground Apple into the dirt with MS-DOS.

      That's "manual memory management" versus the GUI driven Mac with an early form of LAN networking, virtual memory, and something akin to USB.

      The tech gap between Microsoft and Apple now is nothing like it used to be.

  • Define "computing" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:01PM (#43375399) Journal

    Passively reading news, or tweeting out the occasional 140-character update on your boring life is not "computing" to me. Watching videos isn't computing. Playing games isn't computing, even if it is computationally intensive for the device.

    Call me when people start running spreadsheets on these things, or are using them as their primary development platform.

    I think it would be more fair to say that these devices have surpassed the PC as interactive entertainment devices, as opposed to "computing" devices.

    • The worst part of this will be that since Windows will be outsold by Apple, Microsoft will just say "make it even more like Apple, and Facebook! More Facebook! Wouldn't want Mr. Vader Fader Kid [] to beat us at phones too!"

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday April 06, 2013 @06:40AM (#43377463) Homepage

      If we take "passively reading news" to include other sources like forums, home pages, blogs etc. then most web browsing is excluded in general. If "tweeting out the occasional 140-character update" isn't computing then everything from IRC to e-mail to posting on Slashdot isn't either. Take away "watching videos" then I'm guessing that excludes listening til music, watching pictures or any other form of similar activity too, we've already excluded social activities and commenting as blabbering so all of Facebook and YouTube has nothing to do with computing. When you exclude things that are computationally hard for the computer but not for me, then I think you've excluded 95%+ of all I've ever used my computer for personally. Even compiling from source probably shouldn't count as "computation" then, if all you do is make && make install.

      Let me try phrasing it it another way, what were the reasons I wanted to upgrade to a better PC in the past? Playing MP3s and MIDI was big in the 90s, better graphics modes in the 90s and HD video in the 2000s, games the 80s until present. In fact, I don't think I've ever wanted a new computer to make my spreadsheets go faster or to get my compilation times down. So since you've excluded all the reason I'd like to have or upgrade a computer, I guess it hasn't lost as a computing device only as a PC. Because I guess almost all the things I've used it for over the last decades haven't been computing, silly me. Oh and the really heavy computation you now do on a server or in the cloud, welcome to the new mainframes - on my desk at work is nothing but a thin client.

    • by Monoman ( 8745 )

      I agree. Computing vs consuming or creating vs consuming.

      Most computer users are using them as consuming devices. Not that there is anything wrong with it but I'm pretty sure without mobile devices Apple would be right where it was 8 years ago.

      I also agree that the consumer market has been Microsoft's to lose and so far they are doing a darn good job at losing it.

  • ...M$ is losing on those gambles it keeps making pissing off their long-time customers. I'm glad I upgraded my PCs before Win8 came out, because the next machine I buy will probably run Mac OS.
  • and Windows 8, no doubt.

  • by fragMasterFlash ( 989911 ) on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:35PM (#43375641)
    Keep in mind the Gartner comparison is in number of units sold. Considering Apple is much more vertically integrated than MS they keep a much larger chunk of the unit selling price and therefore earn substantially more revenue from per device sold. Apple should really start rolling their own server and office productivity software to compete against the remaining MS cash cows.
  • by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:39PM (#43375657)

    Microsoft "devices" (which apparently means "Windows devices" - mainly laptops, desktops and servers, with a few smartphones and tablets) are being outsold by Apple devices (mainly smartphones, tablets, and laptops, with a handful of desktops and even fewer servers).

    In other news, Ford is outselling Airbus in terms of vehicles sold, and India makes more films than America.

    Not only is there the whole computer-vs-mobile thing (with mobile being a growing market and actual computers having plateaued), but Microsoft itself is pretty new as a hardware manufacturer. They make Surface RT, Surface Pro, two generations of Xbox, the Zune, and a long series of mice and keyboards. Whereas Apple has been making hardware since day 1. So a more fair comparison would be "hardware sold" and "software sold" (not counting OS copies bundled with the hardware). Bet you it ends up with each winning one.

    PS: Doesn't the Xbox count as a "Microsoft device"? TFA doesn't say, but they don't seem to include it. Seems unfair to have "OS X + iOS" versus "Windows" when Microsoft has their own locked-down, walled-garden media-consuming device.

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      You can even go further. How about Microsoft devices like the mouse or the keyboard?

  • by mike449 ( 238450 ) on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:54PM (#43375761)

    I tried to find data on historical accuracy of predictions by Gartner, but surprisingly, there doesn't seem to be any.
    Here is one example (which is actually not that bad): []

  • "desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones powered by Microsoft's various Windows operating systems"

    "tablet" and "smartphone" shouldn't be plural.

  • Oh, if we want to count machines running desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones,and servers then Linux wins over both Apple and Microsoft.

    First take 70% of all smartphones on the world market, which are running Android Linux. Then add the 50% of all tablets which run Android Linux. Then add the many millions of Linux desktops, and millions of servers running Linux.

  • by MacTO ( 1161105 ) on Saturday April 06, 2013 @12:03AM (#43376133)

    The Gartner report never projects the sales of iOS and OSX devices exceeding those of Windows devices. Those projections cover the years 2012 through 2017, so I'm not sure where that sensational conclusion came from. It's also worth noting that the projected sales of Windows devices is continuing to increase, albeit not at the same rate as iOS/OSX, each year.

    Not that I would place much value in these projections. The volume of sales of mobile phones suggests that people will be replacing them every 2.4 years, and that's assuming that everyone over the age of 15 owns one. (If you assume that fewer people own mobile phones, the replacement rate must increase to less reasonable levels.)

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.