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Apple's IOS takes five years to double all-time Mac OS sales

Shiny toys are more popular than shiny boxes
Fri Feb 17 2012, 12:10

TOYMAKER FOR THE WELL HEELED Apple has sold more IOS devices in less than five years than it sold computers in 28 years of flogging Mac OS boxes.

Apple's position as a consumer technology company is underlined by figures from analyst outfit Asymco, which show the firm has sold twice as many IOS devices in less than five years than Mac OS machines over 28 years. The analyst firm claims Apple had sold 122 million Mac OS devices in 28 years, which isn't a shabby number, but astronomical sales of the Iphone and Ipad quickly overtook that.


Apple's Mac OS has been a hit and miss affair over the years, with Mac OS 9 having been all but a disaster. Mac OS X, based on the BSD Mach kernel, was a complete rewrite, and while Mac OS X 10.0 was such a dog that Apple offered users a free upgrade to Mac OS X 10.1, it helped the cappuccino company establish the operating system as a viable competitor to Microsoft's Windows.

However, Apple's unrelenting insistence to allow Mac OS to be installed only on its machines has stunted sales in recent years. Even though Asymco's graph shows an increasing rate of sales growth for Mac OS machines, it is clear that Apple's golden child is IOS.

Apple's IOS is likely to see another upgrade with its launch of the Ipad 3, which is widely expected in March. In the last year Google's Android has arguably surpassed IOS on tablet devices and Apple will need to show some software innovation if it wants to maintain the steep upward sales trajectory of IOS devices.

Even though Apple's IOS sales have surpassed those of Mac OS it is highly unlikely that the firm will dump Mac OS. After all, many of the Mac OS licenses that are sold are on an overpriced, underspecified machine. µ


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