back to article Last year's iOS sales surpassed all Macs ever sold

Apple sold more iOS devices in 2011 than the total number of Macs sold in all 28 years since the original Macintosh 128k first hit store shelves in late January 1984. "The iOS platform as a whole reached 316 million cumulative units at the end of last year," Horace Dediu writes on his Asymco blog. "The iOS platform overtook …


This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

Personally I think this democratisation of technology has been a very good thing.

Catering to the masses has forced the IT companies who used to cater to geeks & nerds, (disclaimer - I am one), to cater to ordinary people, making things easier & simpler to use for everyone. And please don't think that being simple to use makes it simple under-the-hood - it takes skill to do it properly and iOS sales show that the fruity one is on the right track. This can only be a good thing as it now forces others to up their game.

Whether the tech-heads like it or not, using facebook, surfing the web, watching cat videos etc etc are all legitimate uses of a computer, which is after all nothing more then a tool.

The day when I am no longer the default support contact for my family & friends merely because I "work in computers" is drawing closer every day :-)

Oh, and OS X may "look" more like iOS but it'll still be a "proper computer" for those that need it to be. Apple needs the developers to keep making the apps, which in turn brings in the "normal" people to buy their hardware.


"OS X may "look" more like iOS but it'll still be a "proper computer" for those that need it to be"

I wouldn't count on that being the case for long. Apple are making it more and more clear that the Mac doesn't have a long-term future.


I kinda hafta disagree. I ran to Apple to escape the Microsoft world back in 1998. As the years went by I was able to more and more tell family, friends and colleagues that my Microsoft skills were diminished and they should look elsewhere. Now I am getting more and more family, friends and colleagues asking Apple questions. Still, it was a great trade off. I only get 5% of the questions I used to get and the answers and a simple sentence or two.

Gotta love Apple tech for consumers! Which, frankly, is the majority of computer users these days.

Thumb Up

Re: "OS X may "look" more like iOS but it'll still be a "proper computer" for those that need it.."

Hardly....I read recently that even AutoCad is coming out with a Mac OSX version. Mac's are still strong and getting stronger in the tech world. iOS just dominates the computing realm (that includes smartphones and tablets). It makes sense to apply some of the iOS stuff into OSX but OSX will always be OSX. Adding things does not mean they are removing other features and functions.

Mac will live long and will iOS!

Anonymous Coward


In reverse order...

"Apple are making it more and more clear that the Mac doesn't have a long-term future."

Really?!?!? Where's the evidence for that? I've not seen anything even remotely hinting that the Mac has no life**. Making changes so the desktop is more consistent with i devices makes sense.

I'm guessing that the increase in sales of mac's is due to ordinary people now choosing them over a Win PC - more than likely after a positive experience with an iOS device.

"I wouldn't count on that being the case for long"

So you really think it's likely that the Mac line is going to be nobbled in future? Then how are the iOS/OS X app(lications) going to be written that keeps the consumers coming back for more?

Is Apple suddenly going to allow apps to be developed on a competitor's OS?!?!??!

** It's a long read, but Gruber's take on OS X makes sense to me...

"It seems important to Apple that the Mac not be perceived as an afterthought compared to the iPad, and, perhaps more importantly, that Apple not be perceived as itself considering or treating the Mac as an afterthought."

Silver badge


iOS and Android computers actually outsold Windows PCs in 2011 also. The times, they are a-changing.


ditto all the above

iOS = incredible uptake with broad and wide market appeal (and did not the Apple need that at the time?)

OSX = a good, robust hardware-software combo

Maybe a big design and publish printhouse, website hosting designing-mah-bob might one day be truly managed and run on iPads but maybe not quite yet?

Methinks there is a lot of work still there for OSX


Drives mac sales too

If you right align all the graphs so they are lined up by year, you can see that mac sales picked up once iOS was launched.


I'm surprised as I would have thought the Mac would have sold more in 28 years, but it makes sense.

As the article says, the iOS devices are cheaper than Macs to begin with, but you also have the fact that the iOS devices most likely get replaced more frequently too.

Anyone that bought a Mac in 2009 will probably still have it for another couple of years, but anyone that bought an iPhone in 2009 probably got a new one in 2011 and therefore added to these figures.

Then, I suppose there is the added likelyhood that folk who own an iPhone are more likely to buy an iPad or iPod than Mac owners are to buy a second Mac, until that Mac needs replacing.


Not surprised iOS sales are so much higher than Mac sales - iOS gear is relatively cheap. Certainly not the cheapest, but you don't pay much if anything more for an iPhone 4 mobile contract than any other decent smartphone.

Macs on the otherhand are ridiculously expensive. The lass was needing a new laptop and was sorely tempted by a Macbook, but you pay ~80% for the same hardware compared to a Wintel box. As much as she wanted the Macbook, at £900 she ended up with a Core i5 Vaio for half that.

It's tempting to get a laptop with the same spec as a Macbook and buy a copy of OSX. Gotta be cheaper.


Marketing - doncha jus luvit?


Apple markets elite, remains elite with a demonstrable fringe consumer base.

Apple markets in a non-elitist way, becomes popular, overtakes trad market leaders in terms of turnover.

Incredible or merely predictable?

This topic is closed for new posts.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017