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More iOS Devices Sold in 2011 Than Macs in Last 28 Years

By - Source: Asymco | B 32 comments

Though Apple began as a computer company, it's common knowledge that Cupertino's other products, such as the iPad, iPod and iPhone, are massive money-makers. The company's latest earnings report revealed that Apple sold 37.04 million iPhones and 15.43 million iPads in the fourth quarter of last year. By comparison, the number of Macs shipped in the same quarter was just 5.2 million. Not a small number by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely not at the level of the iPhone and iPad. In fact, the iPad and iPhone are so wildly successful that all the Macs sold in nearly three decades still can't match up to iOS device sales in terms of units.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently revealed 55 million iPads to date, adding that it took five years to achieve that number with the iPod, and 22 years for the Mac (as noted by Fortune here). This got the folks over at Asymco thinking about unit sales across Apple's product portfolio and how long each device had been on sale. Horace Dediu writes that the iOS platform overtook OS X in less than four years and that last year alone, the number of iOS devices sold amounted to more than the number of Macs sold, well, ever.

Of course, it's impossible to deny the success of the iPad or the iPhone (or even the iPod touch) considering the number of units sold, but it's also hard to ignore the fact that these are all significantly cheaper than the price of the cheapest Apple computer. Throw in the fact that smartphones are on a 12-month refresh cycle (as is the iPad) whereas people tend to hold on to their computers for much longer than that, and these crazy numbers start to make a little bit more sense. Just a little!

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    guru_urug , February 18, 2012 8:39 AM
    Well it takes time to breed sheep :p 
  • 13 Hide
    jordan009 , February 18, 2012 3:01 PM
    In other news people are more stupid then they were 28 years ago.
  • 11 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , February 18, 2012 10:29 AM
    In other news, Consumer pre-purchase product research has declined severely over the last 5 years.
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    RabidFace , February 18, 2012 7:23 AM
    *yawn*
  • 11 Hide
    de5_Roy , February 18, 2012 7:43 AM
    apple pwned itself.
  • -4 Hide
    ben850 , February 18, 2012 7:49 AM
    They created a gem. We get it.. ;) 
  • 24 Hide
    guru_urug , February 18, 2012 8:39 AM
    Well it takes time to breed sheep :p 
  • 11 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , February 18, 2012 10:29 AM
    In other news, Consumer pre-purchase product research has declined severely over the last 5 years.
  • 3 Hide
    d-isdumb , February 18, 2012 11:04 AM
    People love those i-Phones
  • 1 Hide
    house70 , February 18, 2012 11:29 AM
    iToysrus
  • -2 Hide
    del35 , February 18, 2012 11:38 AM
    Quote:
    In other news, Consumer pre-purchase product research has declined severely over the last 5 years.


    The people are growing more and more ignorant by the day. Sad commentary on the information revolution.
  • 5 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , February 18, 2012 11:50 AM
    In other news, Microsoft has sold as many Windows Phones, as Apple has sold Macs in 28 years.

    OK I admit, I just made that up. It wouldn't surprise me, though.
  • -4 Hide
    freggo , February 18, 2012 12:11 PM
    How can you compare phone sales to computer sales. They have clearly nothing to do with each other.
  • 8 Hide
    alidan , February 18, 2012 12:26 PM
    freggoHow can you compare phone sales to computer sales. They have clearly nothing to do with each other.

    its an apple product compared to their old main product... THEY HAVE EVERYTHING TO DO WITH EACHOTHER

    del35The people are growing more and more ignorant by the day. Sad commentary on the information revolution.


    who knew you those words would be so true just 2 posts later.
  • 13 Hide
    jordan009 , February 18, 2012 3:01 PM
    In other news people are more stupid then they were 28 years ago.
  • -2 Hide
    DroKing , February 18, 2012 3:44 PM
    That shows how shitty macs were in first place. iOS only took off due to their silly pretty glossy fragile devices.
  • -8 Hide
    fuzzion , February 18, 2012 3:54 PM
    Im sure Steve Jobs death had nothing to do with this.....
  • 2 Hide
    shreeharsha , February 18, 2012 11:46 PM
    Can someone please tell will they continue the Mac Pro & Pro products...
  • 2 Hide
    v3rlon , February 19, 2012 1:25 AM
    Well, if I could get a Mac Pro for $199 with a 2 year commitment to my ISP, I would sure go through a few of them.
  • 1 Hide
    intelx , February 19, 2012 5:54 AM
    In other news apple has ribbed off more people then they did 28 years ago.
  • 1 Hide
    theconsolegamer , February 19, 2012 7:58 AM
    jordan009In other news people are more stupid then they were 28 years ago.

    In a few years the world will be using Gatorade to grow plants.
  • 0 Hide
    del35 , February 19, 2012 10:40 AM
    Quote:
    That shows how shitty macs were in first place.


    I don't think Mac are shitty. They are just drm infested overpriced locked-down devices often riddled with sub-par hardware configured to jail the user. Were Apple more open, I would consider owning one of their laptops as long as I could ditch OS X and cover their silly logo with some skin-- yes, I could even put up with their ugly boring looking cases. By the way, Apple is not the only company making ugly uninspired cases.

    I Would also like their laptops to be more upgradable and serviceable. Another of my criticisms of Apple is that as a result of extreme advertising, it grants a make-belief sense of technological sophistication on sheeple who think flashing the Apple logo while wearing clothes that color match their Macs is synonymous with being a member of the technocracy. Sadly, Euclid's dictum about geometry also applies to technology-- "there is no royal path to technology". You've got to do your homework and keep up with the times, or you could end-up living on some cloud bankrupt and
    clueless. No pun intended.

  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , February 19, 2012 11:30 AM
    @del
    So wrong, on every front....
    DRM infested? I`m guessing you are referring to itunes, in which case you can use VLC or any other music application. Ditch OSX, no problem easily done, subit query to your favourite search engine and be amazed. On the topic of upgradeability my 13" MPB is one of the easiest laptops to upgrade I`ve owned. Doubt it? try ifixit.com.
    You claim technological sophistication yet these simple facts effortlessly slipped by you.

    LOL
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