Apple may not have impressed Wall Street with its holiday quarter, but it did reach a major [symbolic] milestone. During the 3-month period, the Cupertino company sold more Macs, iPhones, iPads and iPod touches than the total number of Windows computers combined.

According to data gathered by analyst Benedict Evans, this is the first time Apple has surpassed the PC market in hardware sales. Now this doesn’t include Windows Phone. If you add that in, the two are more or less exactly equal, though Apple still wins in average selling price…

Here’s a breakdown of hardware sales by make:

chart pc vs apple

As you can imagine, Evans’ post garnered mixed feedback—he eventually had to close the comments. Some people thought his comparison of all Apple devices to Windows PCs was unfair, but I think he makes a pretty good point regarding the shift in the meaning of ‘computer.’

Mobile is becoming a personal computing market. And it’s a much, much bigger personal computing environment that PCs. So much bigger that even the ‘niche’ high-end player in mobile, Apple, is selling more than the totality of the old market, PCs.

There are no arbitrary limitations – I’ve defined it as ‘personal computing devices’. A PC, tablet or smartphone fit that. A games console, Apple TV or data-centre server do not.”

What’s really interesting to me is that Apple saw this move to mobile coming. It’s always maintained the belief that the tablet market would be larger than the PC market some day, and this is the first step towards that happening. A lot of people just don’t need PCs anymore.

On the flip side, Microsoft seemingly didn’t see this coming—or if it did, it didn’t react adequately or quickly enough—and because of that, it’s had to play catchup these last 4-5 years.


  • Chuck Finley

    Adding in iOS devices isn’t unfair, it’s just an utterly stupid comparison.

    What a load of utter rubbish. Fanboy bullcrap.

    • omrishtam

      dude take a chillpill

    • Jason Baroni

      It is one company vs. many others, is this fair?

      • FFF84

        they also have to include Android devices and then compare, as sony asus etc…. have both

      • Jason Baroni

        Because it stills Apple vs. All the other companieS. You gotta gather more than 1 company to beat Apple hahaha

      • Guest

        thumbs up

      • FFF84

        No, here it is Apple vs Microsoft. as apple uses in its Mac Intel processors, Nvidia GA……. so Apple buys all these, while Microsoft sells its OS and let you buy your hardware.

      • Barath R

        You’re sooo right

      • Jason Baroni

        I try to get the right Math, which is not too tough to look at, though. But thanks.

    • Todd Sorensen

      You are stirring up the Apple fan-boy base!!! 🙂

    • Although on the surface I would agree with you, I think you’re missing the point here, which is clearly explained by Evans (the part we quoted in the article).

      “Mobile is becoming a personal computing market. And it’s a much, much bigger personal computing environment that PCs. So much bigger that even the ‘niche’ high-end player in mobile, Apple, is selling more than the totality of the old market, PCs.

      There are no arbitrary limitations – I’ve defined it as ‘personal computing devices’. A PC, tablet or smartphone fit that. A games console, Apple TV or data-centre server do not.”

      I think these numbers give us perspective and a very good idea as to where things are heading.

      • Kinda misleading perspective, ’cause you’re counting devices that people regularly upgrade each year (SmartPhone PCs) and comparing it with devices that people upgrade every 3-5 years (Desktop/Laptop PCs). Of-course the one that’s upgraded each year would sell more…

    • Alberto Espinal

      What are you doing here, go, get out, come on out out, still here? Out i said, LOL, LOL!!

    • rockdude094

      Sure to make it fair let’s add all the sales made from windows phones in it as well.. Wait there were none ! So no difference actually.

    • Cesar D

      I think you can do similar things on a mobile device compared to a computer. Really, you should start thinking, iOS devices can do: play music, edit text, post a blog, download programs/apps, install thrid party apps (with jailbreak), navigate thru internet etc… Dude, just because a PC have a bigger screen, another operating system and a better processor doesn’t mean it’s better. Dinosaurs were bigger. But flies kept because they were better. Evolutive process ≧◔◡◔≦.

    • melci

      Microsoft themselves believe the iPad is a PC, who are you to disagree?

  • s0me

    Are you counting the custom made desktop PC’s too or just the Brand ones compared to Apple? Custom made desktop PC’s cant be really tracked because they are made by different brand components wich can be upgraded or expanded.

  • Adrian D.

    @CFinley888:disqus Although I lean towards Apple products (However do also own a PC) You make a solid argument. iOS devices shouldn’t be classified/compared to desktop/laptops.

  • Hyr3m

    Apples and oranges…

    The US ate less apples than bananas, kiwis, pears, peaches, apricots and figs combined. Whatever the phuq that means.

    Also, we keep our computers longer because they’re not already obsolete hardware-wise when we purchase them. And we’re not as manipulated into “upgrading” as Apple customers; hence the smaller need/drive to purchase. That and self-built pcs.

    Cody, why not add xboxes and apple tvs in the meaningless comparison while you’re at it ?

    • Kurt

      Good point. I wonder if this includes windows tablets. If you hook it up to an external monitor and a mouse/keyboard you essentially have a desktop. This is what I think will happen with smart phones in the future. I can do it now with my Note 3, but I’d rather use windows 8 than a mobile OS like Android. I’m surprised people are so willing to pay so much for a Mac when the same price for a windows device is so much better. I never gave Mac much of a chance but my sister and twin love them. I like having my applications and browsers maximized, something I never see in Mac OS, not sure why?

    • gittlopctbi

      Excellent points. Also figure in all the Windows businesses.

  • Ricky

    I like IDB new page UI

    • iFLoWx7

      I do too!

  • Sandy Cook

    lol, I didn’t realise Windows made hardware…

  • Alex-V

    Lol ..i just hackintoshed my Laptop ..instead of windows i use now Mac OS X Mavericks

    • Kurt

      I wanted to give that a try to see how I would like Mac OS. How do you like it?

      • Alex-V

        Feels..nice..all works..

        http: / / tonymacx86 . blogspot . de / 2010 / 04 / iboot-multibeast-install-mac-os-x-on . html?m=1

        Remove the spaces…this is for sl..but theres also one on that site for Mavericks

      • Kurt


    • Jeffrey Feuerstein

      so now you want an applause i guess?

      • Alex-V

        No..just want to say

  • Dan

    This doesn’t mean anything, Apple is a brand. I built my PC and so do a lot of people, that won’t figure into the graph. Also all idevices are included so that skews thing. Comparing iPod’s to PC’s?

  • jeremy harrison

    How long did it take Samsung to catchup?

    • @dongiuj


  • mav3rick

    Completely rubbish:
    – Prebuild Windows PCs don’t sell well; Windows user base is dominant, far bigger;
    – Mixing iPods and iPhones, even tablets with computers, total different devices with total different usage? Really? Why not include lighting cables, too, as they have some IC inside.

    • melci

      Lighting cables don’t run apps and a mobile version of Mac OS X.

      Only the iPod touch is included, not other iPod models which don’t run iOS.

      • mav3rick

        So, if all are comparable, in the same category, you’ll throw out your computer for an phone or ipod?

      • melci

        I won’t, but many are delaying upgrading their PCs as all the stats show. Haven’t you noticed the plummeting sales of PCs?

        Mind you, although I’ll not be throwing out my 12-core 4 screen 32GB of RAM monster Mac pro, I’m certainly using my iPad and iPhone a heck of a lot more for simpler tasks and when I’m on the road.

      • mav3rick

        As you said, too: no one is replacing the computer so often, it’s used for completely different tasks. All because they are in complete different categories. In no world you can make statistics on all these devices together.

      • melci

        So, I take it you disagree with Microsoft and don’t believe the iPad is a PC?

  • Joonyaboy

    That’s impressive considering iphones and ipads cost more than most of those entry level PC’s

  • @dongiuj


  • Abdl

    Pls delete this article! This is just a mere naked lie! Apple produce,without any doubt,great devices,but sold more than all PCs put together?? Nah!

    • melci

      Microsoft classes the iPad as a PC and adding Mac and iPad sales together Apple is suddenly the largest PC manufacturer in the world.

  • Abdl

    If you want to try out Mac’s ecosystem,you should build a hackintosh! Otherwise,get a high end pc out there and you are good to go!

  • Abdl

    I wonder why these FanBoys go ahead to critisize anything thats not Apple when they know deep inside them that there are things they enjoy on a pc and not a mac!

  • caspur

    So… You took iPhones, iPods, iPads and Macs and put them all together against only desktop hardware that runs the Windows OS? Okay then. How about you make another article and include Windows PC’s, Windows phones, Windows tablets and Zunes and do a comparison on them. You might as well add at least a quarter of the Windows 8 software sales, too, since at least that many were made for custom hardware builds. Quit taking other articles and switching the words around and do some of your own stuff.

    • melci

      Incorrect. This comparison compares Windows-powered laptops, desktops, net books, UMPCs, tablets and smartphones against Apple’s Macs, tablets and smartphones.

      Entirely valid comparison. Oh and excluding the Zune is entirely appropriate as all iPods not running iOS are similarly excluded as they aren’t part of each company’s app platforms (not that MS sells enough Zunes to make a difference anyway).

  • felixtaf

    lol… My Gateway laptop is 3 years old… Running strong in Win 7. My custom built cheapass gaming machine is worth 400$!
    I agree with almost everyone here. Windows users wont upgrade their laptops/desktops every year.

  • Quinten Janssen

    Not sure if I interpreted the graph right, but if you look at the Windows + Windows Phone sales it is just a tiny bit more than Mac + iOS. IMO that is still a amazing achievement, since Windows is not just sold by one company

    • Barath R

      Windows is surviving because it is not sold by one company

  • What is the point of comparing if they didn’t include all windows products like they did all ios products?

    • No point doing a logical comparison ’cause then Apple wouldn’t win…

  • Alberto Espinal

    Windows users wont upgrade every year because there’s nothing to upgrade to!

  • This comparison is just ignoramus. You’re comparing just the Windows Laptop/Desktop PCs (doesn’t look like it counts the Windows Tablet and SmartPhone PCs) vs Apple’s entire PC (Personal Computer) line (Macs, iPads, iPhones AND iPod Touches)…what’s the point?

    • Kurt

      What’s interesting is it looks like more Windows phones are sold than Macs.

  • Tha Jonster

    Hint for those who are upset about this comparison. It’s just a comparison and does suggest how far Apple has come overall since Jobs returned in 2000. They were a shrinking 4% of the computer marketplace then and with the range of devices and computers now hold a very healthy marketshare of overall computing devices. You can dice and slice any way you wish. Add Androids, and WinPhones, compare Apple to Samsung or Proctor Gamble and you’re free to write your own articles and clickbait the title any way you wish. The point here is that there was a time not too long ago when this may have appeared unimaginable but now it’s real and frankly we’re all better off. Even Google had to completely rewrite their phone OS (still under development) once iOS was originally revealed. Apple is who the followup players copy every time. Incidently I work on both and generally prefer MacOS to Windows for speed, features and reliability.

  • christian Vaughn

    Reason they are selling more is because the apple products are breaking, and they need to buy new ones as a replacement while the windows pc doesn’t break so they last longer

    • Barath R

      You must think plastic PCs last longer than metal Macs

  • Anonomyous

    Macs suck end of story

    • Barath R

      You’re wrong. End of story