Happy Birthday iPad

The latest data on PC shipments from Gartner showed a decline of  11.1% from the first quarter of 2012. As we don’t yet have the final data on Apple’s Mac shipments, I used my estimate of 4.38 million units (14% growth as per NPD estimate for the US) to obtain an estimate of Windows PC shipments.

That number is 74.8 million units. In the first quarter of 2012 the corresponding calculation yields 85.1 million units. That makes Windows PC rate of decline -12%.

The historic shipment data and growth rates are shown below:

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 4-11-6.07.30 AM


Note that tablet data is not yet included in the shipments summary. Windows shipments are shown in shades of Brown and tablets in shades of Blue/Green.

The decline in PC shipments is persisting and even accelerating.

Coming only a week after the iPad’s launch birthday, it’s perhaps a fitting testament to its impact.

  • FalKirk

    Sometimes disruption feels like a pebble thrown into a lake – it’s ripples spreading farther and farther, affecting one industry after another.

    The iPad feels more like a boulder thrown into a small pond…


    • Space Gorilla

      Yes, the enterprise numbers especially are quite stunning.

      • Where are they? would love to see some hard data on enterprise.

      • Space Gorilla

        There’s a number of sources but probably the most recent is Good Technology, with iPad at 94 percent share. The numbers differ depending on the source but the story doesn’t change, iPad especially is dominating in business.

      • melci

        Egnyte reports that in Q1 2013, Apple’s iOS has *increased* its share of the mobile business market from 69% to 78% while Android suffered a massive decline from 30% last year to only 22% this quarter. Windows tablets and phones were relegated to the Other category with less than 1% marketshare.

        Good Technology reports that last quarter the iPad again completely dominated the Business tablet market with a massive 93.2% of activations while the iPhone accounted for 73% of all non-BB business smartphone activations against Android’s 27% and Window 8 was completely missing in action.

        Good Technology also reports that iOS devices in total represented 77% of mobile device activations in the enterprise market in Q4 2012, with the top five slots all occupied by Apple devices.

        Citrix reports that iOS as a whole represents 58% of all smartphone and tablet activations (62% in the USA) with Android on 35% and Windows on 7%.

        Citrix mentions the iPad represents 53% of the iOS total, but don’t indicate how this compares to competing tablets. However, considering the iPhone-iPad ratio is far lower in the overall market, one would assume the iPad’s business tablet marketshare would be almost as huge as Good and Egnyte report.

    • jericl

      If I were meg Whitman I would be waking at 3 am in a cold sweat weekly. Some of these PCM makers have already gotten a bullet through the brain but the body simply hasn’t fallen yet.

      • Walt French

        just a slight exaggeration, if the recent estimates of ~ 20% YoY declines are to be believed.

        As a cubicle-dweller myself, doing rather data-, corporate data- and analytical-intensive work, I can’t imagine my job needing less CPU power or working on fewer screens than the 4 I keep in my peripheral vision today. Nor does it make sense to supplement that work by an iPad, at least while I’m at my desk.

        So I don’t see the corporate market, supposedly about half of PC sales, every going away. It’s the personal PC market, one where Apple might have already had a near-majority of revenues with Macs, that’s imploding for Microsoft and its OEMs. The “job to be done” for those customers is today all about ubiquity and that means mobile plus a friendly, iCloud- or DropBox-style synchronization. HP is badly disadvantaged there; your analogy might be perfectly apt for that part of the business.

      • obarthelemy

        Indeed. I just finished setting up a $40 Android USB stick for my parents, and they love it: it’s much easier to use than Windows, it’s the same as their tablet and phone, it uses essentially no power…
        The one issue is software, there’s still a bit missing: my dad’s genealogy stuff, my mom’s “play vs PC” Scrabble… They’re keeping their old Wintel PC for now, but they won’t be upgrading it in the foreseeable future, and probably, never.

      • Glaurung-Quena

        The corporate market may not be going away, but it’s slowing down a lot.

        Basically, for the entire history of the personal computer industry, the software has been ahead of the hardware — there was always some basic office task that was just too darn slow on the fastest system you could reasonably buy. And that fact drove the replacement schedule of corporate computers. It became standard to replace computers on a faster schedule than any other office equipment.

        Sometime in the past decade, Moore’s law finally pushed the hardware out ahead of typical business software. For the first time ever, there’s no real need to replace an old computer with a faster model. Meanwhile, from a durability perspective, modern desktop PCs can easily last 5 to 7 years, or even longer if they’re equipped with SDD drives instead of hard disks. And I think the business market for PCs will continue to contract as corporations lengthen their IT replacement schedules.

      • Walt French

        I’m not expert on this, but I think that many business functions have moved to servers so that the desktop machine merely interfaces to the user while big iron does all the heavy lifting. Moves less data around, which for big shops — my team is in three sites spread around the country — is more important than the CPU speed.

        Even in a small office, moving data to a “terminal” workstation can be much slower than the processing that is performed on it, even with a slow box. If I’m working on data that *I* generate, it’s not much and I don’t need much processing power. It’s only for the big datasets that any time could be required, so those functions dominate the decision-making about architecture. Net-net, I’m agreeing without saying that we’ve reached some Nirvana of computers being fast enough.

  • Chaka10

    Is it just the iPad or is it also the Mac (to some small extent)? Do you believe Gartner or IDC?

    • JohnDoey

      Above $1000, it is the Mac. Under $1000, it is the iPad. But the under $1000 market is exponentially larger and the effect is more pronounced.

    • obarthelemy

      Are they tracking Android “desktops” yet ? There’s probably several 100Ks of those in there.

      • Johnny

        They don’t break out Linux numbers either. As far as 100Ks of Android desktops, do you mean Chrome OS. 100Ks are probably smaller than the margin of error.

        Many reports seems to paint a pretty picture for whoever is paying for the research.

      • obarthelemy

        no, not chrome, android.

    • Mac may have helped but not much. The Mac itself is subject to disruption by the iPad.
      Sent from my iPad

      • Chaka10

        Yes, but I wonder if it also benefits from (i) the broad and rapid iOS adoption, (ii) brand halo effect (eg in China), (iii) expansion of the distribution network outside the US and (iv) being part of the same ecosystem (at risk of wearing that word out).

        My thinking relates both to the prospects of a near-term upside surprise in Mac numbers in F1Q (perhaps wishful thinking) and also to secular trends for the Mac product line. I’ve wondered if perhaps the Mac, more so than the iPhone, is where the real opportunity lies IF Apple were inclined to make a market share grab by lowering prices. The impact on corporate gross margins should be more modest (bc the Mac has become a small’ish part of the Apple business). And perhaps the market share gain opportunities are the greatest: I don’t think AAPL gives gross margins by product category, but I’ve seen analyst estimates of mid to high 20% for Mac. That compares to 4-5% for HP, the market leader in PCs. If AAPL starts cutting Mac prices, do the PC vendors have room to follow? Would that strategy result in significant market share gains for Mac? Enough to off-set the margin hit?

    • I don’t “believe” either one, but I do use Gartner’s data to track the market, mostly out of consistency.
      Sent from my iPad

  • Noah Berlove

    For the US market, Gartner shows Mac shipments up 7.4%, but IDC shows them down 7.5%. The difference is about 230k units. It will be interesting to see who’s estimate is more accurate.

    • We will never know since Apple does not publish this data.

      Sent from my iPad

      • Noah Berlove

        Apple does report worldwide Mac sales which will at least show overall Mac growth/decline. Also, Gartner does revise its numbers. This time last year they said Apple shipped 1.6 million Macs in the US and now they say it was only 1.5M in Q1 2012.

  • Is it any wonder why the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt brigades have been launching a full frontal assault on Apple in the last two quarters? With the sort of dominance Apple’s iPad has now, what would the PC marketplace look like if it maintained this dominance as tablets completely erase the desktop and laptop segment? The entire Windows ecosystem, now essentially leaderless, is numb with fear that the formerly puny Apple might be ruling the roost.

    Their only option is to lobby the consumers and the investors to believe that Apple is doomed. FUD powers ACTIVATE!

    • JohnDoey

      It’s already over, though. Much too late for FUD. What we have now is the reverse of the 1990’s, when Apple thought it was a monopoly and got lazy and Microsoft spanked them with Windows 95. Now, Apple is returning the favor, delivering a much-deserved spanking to Microsoft with iOS. All the Monopoly money that Microsoft spent on its pet rivalries with AOL and Sun/Java and Google should have been spent on developing a next-generation PC. Instead, they left that opportunity solely to Apple, who absolutely murdered it.

      • r.d

        Microsoft did spend billion on XBox, 3+ different tablet iterations,
        3 different phone OS in space of 10 years. Not to talk about other spectacular failures. what more do you want from them.

        Intel and Microsoft were earning most of profit at the expense of OEMs.
        Intel gave up on ARM because it couldn’t make any money compared to x86.

        so OEMs outsourced all their expertise to China because they had to compete with Japan and Taiwan manufactures.

        So now you have no capability nor profit to invest into the next generation.

      • Agreed. iPad does the job to be done for most people cheaper, easier and faster. The writings on the (Tablet) for PV vendors. I think Apple’s next generation iPads will deliver the final blow. The transition will have a profound effect on education. It’s already well underway in Illinois and Texas. See the three sequential videos here…

    • obarthelemy

      “With the sort of dominance Apple’s iPad has now”: you mean Android:

      “erase the desktop and laptop segment”: yeah,shure.

      • melci

        You believe IDC and their tablet numbers?

        Remember, these are the analysts who infamously reported that Samsung had sold 2.5 million tablets worldwide in Q3 2012 only to have court-ordered figures from Samsung demonstrate they had only sold a miniscule 37,000 tablets in the USA.

        Note that the USA at the time was the nation with by far the largest number of active Android and iOS devices in the world (greater than the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th nations put together).

        Far more accurate and useful measures of marketshare are the usage stats that all give an absolute landslide to the iPad. 93.2% of all business tablet activations (Good Technology), 88% of mobile e-commerce revenue generation (IBM), 98.1% of all tablet web browsing according to OnSwipe etc etc.

      • obarthelemy

        I’ve got different numbers: . That’s only for one, generalist, French site… they do’nt have any particular agenda though.

      • Johnny

        It would be great if Google provided numbers for web searches via different mobile OSes, since they are so “open”?

        I suspect that the numbers don’t currently support the story that Google are trying to tell.

        If android numbers are bigger than iOS, I imagine Google would be bragging about it. But as of today, they aren’t.

        Their silence speaks louder than any numbers you can quote. Google has the data but they are not talking.

  • I understand that IDC is keeping tablets (Apple and Android) separated from PC while is keeping Windows RT included in PC.

    I don’t understand the point, is there any meaning in aggregating windows tablets and excluding iPad and Android tablets?
    The same does Gartner. Where are they living?

    • r.d

      PC OEMs i.e. HP, Dell and Microsoft
      are the clients of IDC thus they don’t want
      to look bad. It is not the job of IDC to give bad news.

      • Well, yes obviously, but they also have to give their clients meaningful information.
        What if they calculated data of all pc excluding the red’s ones?
        Would it be meaningful even if it looked good?
        Including surface tablets and excluding iPads and Androids is arbitrary in the same way.

  • stevesup

    It’s time to drop the term PC altogether. They were never personal anyway unless you were an computer engineer. We could drop the term computer too; in twenty-five years on these devices, I have never computed once. More, today my little computer is also a phone; my big one is also my TV. Instead, how about PDP, for personal digital processors?

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  • symbolset

    Server side has to be feeling the heat with this much change on the client side going on.

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