back to article iPads may be outselling Macs two to one

Apple's iPad may be selling nearly twice as well as the company's venerable Macintosh — despite Cupertino's admission that it's having a hard time meeting demand, and despite having to delay its international roll-out by a month. That's the contention of a seasoned Apple-watcher at RBC Capital Markets<. According to The Wall …


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  1. James Foster
    Jobs Horns


    I'm going to predict sales of 6,666,666. That seems as good a number as any.

  2. ThomH Silver badge

    Could be the absence of high street competition?

    And the fact that, if a person is looking for a laptop, they generally already know and are happy (or, frequently, happier) with the ubiquitous Windows devices whereas if they decide to buy a tablet then it's pretty much all a gamble.

    1. Random_Walk

      Well, not really...

      There are after all other "tablets" (loose definition of the word, I know) out there, most of which run Windows - but most of them can get fairly expensive in a hurry, and a goodly chunk of those look/smell/taste like laptops. Windows has pretty much had this segment to themselves for a decade now, with very little success - nearly none of which outside of the business sector.

      As far as that whole market segment goes, until/unless someone comes out with a tablet that has a similar form factor and (most importantly) price-points, the iPad will continue to sell like crazy. As it stands right now, it's the cheapest "tablet" (loose definition again) out there.

      1. Kevin 9

        I wonder...

        I wonder how long it will take Apple to ship more iPads than the tablet PC has shipped since being conceived. I think I was the first person to buy one at the store I purchased it from. And I haven't encountered another person who has owned one in my day to day life.

        I purchased a Tablet PC about 6 years ago to use for school. It was heavy, hot, slow, and the battery sucked. I had to carry an external battery around just to make it through two classes. It was clunky to use, the only useful app being OneNote. 45 -55 minutes of life, and that was after installing aftermarket software to lower the clock and voltage settings of the CPU. Oh, and the hinge cracked and broke within 18 months.

        Having used the wife's iPad for about a month, I can tell that this thing would have been far more useful, paired with a small bluetooth keyboard, than my tablet PC ever was, and it costs about a third of the price. Even without a keyboard, for jotting notes, it's good enough.

  3. Bear Features
    Thumb Down

    here we go again

    Yes, keep saying it and you might believe it.

    I don't think it's selling at all outside of fanbois because they keep banging on about how much they're going to sell. Lame and basic marketing tactic.

    1. ColonelClaw

      Missing the point

      Time will bear this out but I'm pretty sure you're wrong. The iPad has far more non-fanboy appeal than the Mac, that's why it will sell by the truckload. It's the first computer my parents could actually fully understand how to use.

      The point is it's a computer for people who don't like all the world's other computers.

      1. Ashley Stevens
        Thumb Down

        Except.... need a computer to make it work. This is the downside of the iPad. It could be a computer for folks who can't use computers, except you can't do anything with it without a computer......catch 22!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down

          Computer NOT needed

          The helpful folks at the Apple store activated my iPad, no questions asked. No need to connect it to anything else.

          1. Mark 65


            So how do you move files about - backup, view photos you've taken, print, do tasks people would expect to be able to do with their new computer etc?

  4. Beaviz
    Jobs Horns

    I call shenanigans on that

    That's a remarkably high number for what is probably a very limited user base given a) how expensive they are b) how they don't do anything more than your current smart phone c) how they're more awkward to use than a more traditional device d) what a plonker you look like with a Dom Joly style iPod Touch.

    Once the early adopters are finished Apple's gonna have an uphill struggle cos they've only really sold it to the fanbois who were gonna buy it regardless of its true utility.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      All indications are that you are absolutely and utterly wrong. This has just started and already it's the quickest to $1B revenue for a consumer device in history.

      And for a lesson in early adopters and what happens next, consult Geoffrey Moore.

  5. Captain Save-a-ho
    Paris Hilton

    Mac sales of 110000

    Does that number sound high to anyone else? I thought this article would bash Apple for deceiving people about iPad sales, since they were only 2:1 over Mac sales. Are they really selling 5 million Macs per year? Why isn't Apple marketshare higher?

    Never thought I would find myself in Paris' category...

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge


      Maybe the market share of home users is rising, but businesses won't buy Apple computers, they prefer dull, cheap Dell and HP boxes.

      Not to mention that if you had Apple corporate laptops a lot of them would go missing when people leave the company.

      1. Barry Lane 1

        @ Giles Jones

        I visited an insurance company in Dorset a couple of weeks back and they had iMacs of several vintages around the place. The boss and his secretary both had new 27-inch jobbies - ooh, matron! - on their desks and there was a 17-inch Macbook Pro as well as a G5 iMac on another desk. The secretary told me the boss bought them because he was fed up with Windows, wanted something prettier than beige boxes in the offices and liked the additional security the Macs brought with them. The boss has Macs at home, too, apparently.

        As for people nicking them, I guess they had that likelihood covered, it being an insurance company.

        A beer because it's Friday.

  6. RobDinsmore

    Laptops are only toys today

    I suspect more and more people will move away from laptops due to their horrible screens. Most ship with low res 16:9 screens that can display much more than an application's menus. What is the point of a computer you can't really do any work on? There is none, well none beyond what a cheap tablet can provide.

    1. Rob


      What laptops have you been using? My laptop screen is crystal sharp, I use it to edit HD video and the results are spot on, before you ask it's not an overly expensive latptop either <£600.

    2. Rob Davis

      High resolution options available

      High resolution laptop options are available and always have been:

      The new April2010 updated Mac 15" has a 1680x1050 option. The 17" has 1920x1200 option.

      My 5 year old Dell Inspiron 8600 notebook has 1920x1200 in 15.4"

      Many PC laptops ship with 1920x1080 full HD screens, at 15.4", 16 inch etc.

      My 9" Toshiba NB100 has 1024x600 and that works fine thank-you-very-much.

      For smaller screens, a selection of suggested tools like these here can force non-resizeable windows to be smaller:

      All of the above plug into external monitors and digital TVs for explanded split screens for extra space.

      Take your pick.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        My 2003 vintage Dell laptop had a stunning 1920x1200 screen. The iPad has a rather sucky 1024x768. That isn't even enough for HD movies.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple Computer Company

    It's been a long time since I thought of Apple as the computer company it once was. I now think of them as a device maker, like Sony or Nokia. Even when you do see an actual Macintosh, it's a small laptop. You don't see their desktops around anywhere nearly as much as you saw G3-G5s in people's homes when they were thought of as a cool desktop computer company.

    The only time I've seen a new desktop Mac for years now is in offices.

  8. Chad H.

    Err... Why do we keep listening to this guy?

    Anyone remember this article?

    "A market analyst has compiled a list of potential features that he’s claimed could be included on an upcoming cut-price iPhone.

    Abramsky's predictions for a cut-price iPhone (left) and updated model

    The list comes from RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Abramsky who - according to a report by Silicon Alley Insider - has predicted that the phone would cost just $99 (£68/€76).

    Dubbed the “Entry Level iPhone”, the device would only feature an Edge connection. It would support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

    The model would still have a 3.5in screen – blowing rumours of an iPhone Nano out of the water – and be available as an 8GB device. A sub-2Mp camera would be included, but GPS wouldn’t be."

    I'm still waiting to see this iPhone Nano....

    So, if this guy can spout rubbish, and get rated well for accuracy, is it true to say that we're all in the wrong business?

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      I think the clue to this article is in the title

      "iPads may be outselling Macs two to one"

      Then again, they might not be. All bases covered by implication.

  9. lucmars

    The iPad is for computing in a sofa

    That's the very usage of the iPad: when you're tired to be sat in front your workstation (a Mac of course, if that still exist) then you take your iPad and you compute, no I mean you consume IT's leisure from the web and else. On this basis, the richer Mac owner will buy an iPad and the poorest will buy one as well. Since, from the upper to the lower, everybody have a Mac (even so a PowerPC) the iPad's sale matches at least the Mac saled. And voila.

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot


      Computing "IN" a sofa!

      Tad snug and and probably very warm too, but there is always a chance to pick up lose change and some combs people have lost down the back I suppose!

  10. bitten
    Paris Hilton

    the third way

    i already own a mobile

    my pc should be Windows

    but an iPad is a different story

  11. shaolin cookie

    behind the times

    I know I must be behind the times, but I've watched the videos and still can't imagine why would anyone want an iPad? Or at least why would anyone be willing to part with more than $100 for one, given that it has such limited functionality. I know the UI looks nice, but what good is that if you can't really do anything on it and it's just as big as a far more functional netbook? Or maybe people are buying those just thinking they're behind the times and will figure out the usage once they own one...

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge


      There are more developers of software the iPhone and iPad than the Mac. It's all about software, not the OS. An OS is just there to manage the data and run the apps.

  12. Tebastian

    a different driver

    Actually I think Mac sales are being driven from the other direction. I got an iPhone and was impressed with the design of the software and hardware. I figured if they could make a phone that good maybe there computers were worth trying out - turns out they were. I know several other people who have become Mac users the same way. I think the iPad will have a similar effect, and there will see huge a boost in Mac sales.

  13. Torben Mogensen

    Will Apple phase out Macs?

    I'm pretty sure Apple has a proportionally higher earning on iPad than on Mac. Yes, the absolute profit is higher on Macs, but the so are the costs. An iPad is pretty minimal in terms of hardware costs, and my guess is that secondary earnings (software and content) are higher for the iPad.

    So why would Apple continue making Macs? I suspect they will continue doing so, but mainly as a development platform for iPad/iPhone. After all, they seem dead set on making sure you only use their own development systems. But as a general-purpose PC? I'm not sure it would be worth the effort.

  14. Ralph B

    News at 11

    Cheaper thing outsells more expensive thing.

    Who'd've thunk it.

  15. DZ-Jay

    Re: Mac sales of 110000

    @Captain save-a-ho:

    >> "Are they really selling 5 million Macs per year? Why isn't Apple marketshare higher?"

    The market share is probably higher than whatever you thought; but still it is small because there are considerably more people in the world than 5 million.


  16. Anthony Hulse

    Much more than 5 million Mac sales a year.

    According to Apple's own SEC filings Mac sales are somewhere between 11 and 12 million units a year globally, which is something like 3.5% of global computer sales. That 110k a week figure is just for the USA, where just under half of all Macs are sold.

  17. dave 93

    ...and international sales haven't even started yet

    cue the sound of furious backpedaling from el Reg hacks, and many others too. You can all take comfort in Winston Churchill's assertion that "Eating my own words has never given me indigestion"


  18. Glenn Amspaugh

    (L)users will buy anything

    I mean, why would anyone spend $500 on up for a system that won't run a compiler, doesn't have a command line and can't run Flash like all the other phones and such? I mean, all those (l)users are now locked out of 90% of the internets. And forget about installing Office or Outlook on this thing. No one's gonna' wanna thumb in their emails and spreadsheets and such. Bleah! I bet people will be selling these of used for $25 bucks in a year.

  19. bex
    Jobs Horns

    i just don't want to be ripped of

    they could sell them at $300 and still make a profit. As any application you put on it is more profit for apple they are treating people like monkeys.

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