For the first time ever, quarterly smartphone sales outpaced PC sales in the fourth quarter of 2011.
This may come as a surprise to those who weren’t watching the market. But, in fact, the race wasn’t even close. Market watchers have never seen this happen before.
SmartPhones outsell PCs
An estimated that 158.5 million smartphones were sold in the last quarter, compared with 120.2 million personal computers, according to mobile market research firm Canalys.
SmartPhones outsell PCs and Tablets
What is even more surprising, is that unlike some other research firms, Canalys counts tablets as PCs. If you take tablets out of the mix, only 93.7 million personal computers were sold. This means “hand-helds” outsold the “plug-ins” by a 2 to 1 margin.
Apple is the Big Winner
Apple, which has captured most of the profits from the smartphone boom and completely dominates tablets, is the clear winner. Google, whose Android OS is the market share leader for smartphones, is the clear runner-up.
Microsoft is the Loser
The big loser is Microsoft. After repeated attempts to enter the smartphone market, Windows Phone is dead last in market share, with a measly 1.6% global market share, according to Canalys. Only “other” comes in lower.
Five years ago, the PC was the main way people connected to the Internet, and more than 95% of PCs ran Windows. Now, the PC isn’t even in the majority of new Internet-connected devices sold.
Microsoft has put a ton of energy and innovation into Windows 8, which was supposed to help the company claw back some tablet sales from Apple’s iPad. Microsoft once made it’s money by copying Apple, right down to the name. It won’t be that easy this time.