Skip to content

iPhone + iPad > Android

by erik on April 3rd, 2011

Analysts for some reason love to split the word of computing devices up by form factor. Laptops over here, smartphones over there, and tablets somewhere in the middle. But the fact is, they are all computers. Big computers, little computers, keyboards, touchscreens… it’s all a bunch of general purpose computing machines.

Recently, people realized that if you combine desktop, laptop and tablet sales, Apple is the top “PC” manufacturer in the world. And news came out this week suggesting Android is stillĀ top dog in the smartphone world.

But if you ignore the keyboards and the screen sizes, and just look at all of these as computing devices, what does the market look like?

It turns out, iOS, with 23.3 million devices sold is actually ahead of Android’s 22.1 million. And given that Apple was generally agreed to be behind in sales before the iPad came out, that suggests iOS is growing slightly faster than Android.

Notes on how I hacked together these numbers:

  • The iPhone/iPad unit sales come from Apple’s Q1 2011 report
  • The iPhone smartphone share (25%) comes from Comscore’s February report
  • Those two together allowed me to estimate the total smartphone sales for Q1 2011 (64 million)
  • Unit sales of non-iOS smartphones were calculated from that total and Comscore’s market shares.
  • Total non-tablet PC sales were estimated at 90 million (a wild guess based on historical figures. Probably overstates Windows sales.)
  • No one has reported solid consumer sales numbers for Android tablets, so I estimated 1 million sold this quarter. If you estimate 2 million, Android jumps up to 15% total computing device share, still a hair under iOS.

Unsaved spreadsheet

From → Uncategorized

  1. This seems a bit of a reach. Do android sales include all phones, tablets,ereaders, media devices?

    Its quite odd to compare OS vs form factor. I wish there were true solid numbers with a phone vs phone, tablet vs tablet, etc.

    Remember when apple tried to convince us that phonies should be lumped in as OSX devices in the early days?

  2. And should we count the iPod Touches sold too?

  3. rofrol permalink


  4. Personally, I don’t care if IOS beats Android or vice versa. I was surprised when I first heard that Android was outselling iPhone, but your analysis seems sound that it’s not really true. Whatever. I’m glad to see them both doing well. And mostly I love projecting that Windows will soon be below the 50% mark!

  5. Michael: we should! I forgot about them.

  6. jef: I think they should. They’re all just little computers. It’s interesting to compare device to device if all you care about is the competitive landscape of that form factor. But my point is that sometimes what you want to compare is the strength of a technology platform.

  7. David: yes. good riddance!

Leave a Reply

Note: XHTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS