The post-PC era takes shape: Apple devices outsold Windows in Q4

iPhone, iPad, Mac Image Source: Zach Epstein, BGR

Recent research from analyst Benedict Evans reveals that in the fourth quarter last year, Apple shipped more “computers” than all of Microsoft’s Windows partners combined. Evans counted as computers all smart devices sold by Apple including Macs, iPhones, iPod touches and iPads, which surpassed 80 million sold units during the period. Not only did the number surpass combined Windows PC sales for the period, but it almost matched the combined Windows and Windows Phone sales.

Evans calls Apple’s achievement “a symbolic moment” for the mobile business. “This is pretty good illustration of the scale of mobile,” Evans wrote, “Apple limits itself only to the high-end of the mobile market, but still sells more units than the whole PC industry.”

iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac sales compared to Windows and Windows Phone sales | Image credit: Benedict Evans

iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac sales compared to Windows and Windows Phone sales | Image credit: Benedict Evans

When it comes to profits, Apple had an average hardware selling price of $584 for iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac lines during the period, according to MacRumors research. Comparatively, the average Windows PC sold for $544.30 during Q3 2014.

In addition to Apple, only one company has sold more mobile devices during Q4 2013 than Windows PCs, and that’s Samsung. According to Gartner, the giant South Korean company sold over 83 million smartphones during the period. On top of that, Samsung also sold over 12 million tablets in the quarter.

Meanwhile, the giant behind Windows and Windows Phone has reported a record fourth quarter, but Microsoft’s performance alone may not be enough to fight iOS and Android in the mobile space, where more and more smartphones and tablets are chosen instead of traditional PCs. As for Windows Phone, while the OS has grown significantly last year, it’s still a distant third, trailing Google and Apple in the mobile business.

Tables showing worldwide smartphone sales by company and by operating system follow below, via Gartner.

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