Smartphones and tablets have been touted on numerous occasions as "Post-PC" devices, and with most now offering the same levels of capability as desktops and notebooks, this assertion is perhaps an accurate one. Research firm Gartner’s latest figures show just how pivotal these Post-PC devices have become within the tech industry, having estimated that in 2013, Apple devices will outsell their Windows counterparts for the very first time in history.
Bearing in mind it takes into account Apple’s very much iOS-led artillery of the iPhone, and iPad as well as Mac, Gartner’s findings are not to say that Apple computers (i.e. Macs) will outsell Windows computers. But if we were to consider the use of the word ‘computer’ in its truest form, Apple’s strong-selling iPad and iPhone may finally have grown enough in popularity to offset the still-gaping gap between Windows desktops and Macs on OS X.
Last year, Windows device sales reached 175 million units versus the 159 million total for iOS and OS X devices, and with Microsoft still struggling to shift notable numbers on Windows Phone and Windows RT, it looks as if one of the Redmond company’s biggest rivals may be about to steam in.
Gartner noted in the report, which originates from another report, that tablet sales will surpass sales of the traditional PC by 2015, but this should come as very little surprise. General home consumers are increasingly turning to the ‘pick up, put down’ convenience of an iPad, Nexus slate or Kindle Fire over a notebook or desktop, and with businesses also investing heavily in developing, building and implementing powerful apps for tablet space, the Post-PC era is well and truly here.
Microsoft will have to revise its strategy considerably if it is to reestablish itself as the authority at any point in the near future. It’s Windows Phone mobile ecosystem, while considered pretty and innovative, is struggling desperately to compete with iOS or Android, and with a store severely bereft of key apps, it’s going to be an uphill climb from here on in. Windows RT also seems a woefully lost go-between, and although the main Windows 8 Pro has been fairly successful hitherto, falling behind Apple for the first time will definitely hurt.