Today, Windows Only Outsells Apple Products Two To One


Microsoft's once-unassailable lead has vanished


In its first year, the Mac sold just 372,000 units. PC clones were reaching two million units, or six times the amount of sales of the Mac. And things got worse from there, climbing to a vertiginous 60x by 2004.

Now, though, according to everybody’s favorite Apple analyst and Christopher Walken soundalike Horace Dediu, the gap has dropped to just 2:1 – if you count iOS in with OS X.

The numbers are startling, and Dediu’s graphs are as ever a fantastic visualization of the data. Since the peak year for Microsoft – 2004 – Mac and then iOS sales have outpaced the PC to reverse Microsoft’s seemingly unsurmountable lead.

Counting just Mac sales, PCs still outsell OS X by 19x. But add in the iPad and iPhone and the number drops to just 2x, and with iPad and iPhone sales still growing like a cancer, it can’t be long before Apple is in the lead.

Is it fair to count iOS devices here? Hell, yes. The iPhone and iPad are legitimate computers – I’m writing this article on an iPad – and already outsell Apple’s own Macs. If you don’t think it’s fair, why don’t we add in Microsoft’s own phones and tablets, the Windows 7 phones and the Surface.

Wait. It makes no difference. The Surface is still a concept design which nobody has used, and Windows phones are hardly worth bothering with, sales-wise.

Of course, the Windows-installed base is still strong, and will surely remain dominant for years to come. But it’s sales that matter. Just ask RIM.


  • Xilefian

    Seems kind of silly to compare a single desktop OS’s success to the entire library of Apple devices, Windows still outnumbers OSX significantly, and iOS outnumbers Windows Phone significantly.

  • Zeteboy

    Growing like a cancer??? What a terrible comparison.

  • Rad_Middle

    Just wondering – if I buy a Mac and install a purchased copy Win on either Boot Camp or Fusion, does that count as a sale of each??

  • davechanedm

    It’s a cherry picked way to look at the data just like the original article. No, it’s not valid to compare iPhones and iPads to desktop computers. Show me a corporate office where all the staff are using spreadsheets and custom data entry apps all on iPhones and iPads. Then again, this is Cult of Mac, so bias is the order of the day.

  • Lightfoot85

    Vapid. I’m a massive Apple fan but this is pointless (and sensationalist) fluff.

  • copperbum

    really pointless comparison. iOS does not replace desktop computers in any form – perhaps for your industry which is based on blogging, but in a real profession more powerful equipment is required. flawed comparison and lousy article.

  • Kendall Tawes

    Growing like a cancer??? What a terrible comparison.

    That would be like saying the music of Queen spread like Aids.