Graph: The Year Apple Overtook Windows

This guy nailed it.

Twelve months ago, Horace Dediu predicted that 2015 would be the year that Apple overtook Windows.

On Sunday, five days before Apple’s 40th birthday, he revisited his prediction using actual sales as estimated by Gartner.

Above: His updated chart, showing that Apple devices did indeed outsell Windows PCs in 2015.

Below: The version he posted April 14, 2015, on


Note that Dediu has titled these charts “the history of the Personal Computer market since 1981,” a bit of graphical slight of hand that mixes apples and oranges. On one hand, he’s broadened the “personal computer” rubric to cover Windows PCs, Macs, iPhones and iPads. On the other, he’s excluded sales of hundreds of millions of Android devices.


  1. Richard Wanderman said:
    I don’t think that’s a fair comparison.

    Comparing Macs and PCs running Windows would be fair. It’s about the operating system, not the device.

    March 28, 2016
    • Scott Girard said:
      I think Horace could include Windows Phone and Surface in his numbers and the results would turn out the same (if he hasn’t already included those categories in his results).

      March 28, 2016
      • Richard Wanderman said:
        Then the comparison shouldn’t be products, it should be companies: Apple vs. Microsoft.

        Should Apple include Apple TV? It’s running the same OS as the iPhone.

        March 28, 2016
  2. David Emery said:
    It would be really interesting to add Android to this line.

    More than anything, this shows the total failure of Ballmer’s “Windows Everywhere” strategy.

    March 28, 2016
  3. Carolyn Sills said:
    iPhone, iPad and Mac are lumped together — appropriately fair since all run computer operating systems, all personal computers just in different capacities and form factors.

    Knowing that the sales of iPad Pro exceeded the sales of all the Surfaces combined, would it still not affect the Apple > PC equation? And what would it be like if Windows Phones are factored in?

    March 28, 2016

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