iPad Sales Numbers Say We May Be in a Post-PC World After All

By Steve Anderson March 09, 2012

When you start off with a point like “The iPad is outselling every PC on the market”, it’s enough to make you think twice about this whole “post-PC era” that Steve Jobs was trumpeting back before his tragic passing. And looking at the numbers suggests that, at the very least, if we’re not at the post-PC era, we’re at least getting there.

Tim Cook, when he took the stage at the launch event for the new iPad back on Tuesday, led off with a slide showing sales numbers for the iPad line, and comparing those numbers against sales numbers from four leading PC manufacturers: HP, Dell, Lenovo and Acer. The results were telling; the iPad was just slightly higher than the numbers for HP, and was significantly higher than the numbers posted by Lenovo, Dell and Acer. In Acer’s case, the numbers were slightly better than half the number of iPads sold.

Now that alone is cause to look at this whole “post-PC era” concept with a bit more credulity, until you look at the whole set of statistics together. Yes, the iPad line shipped around 15.4 million units last quarter. And yes, that was also slightly more than HP shipped in computers. But the undoing of the “post-PC era” concept comes by applying the rest of Cook’s graph. Lenovo, according to Cook’s graph, put up around 13 million units. Dell, just shy of 12 million. And Acer, just under 10 million.

Add the lot of them together and you’ve got a much different score, with the iPad shipping 15.4 million units and the top four PC makers shipping in the neighborhood of 50 million units, or the PC outselling the iPad by a factor of better than three to one. It’s hard to be in a “post-PC era” when there are still so many of these pesky PCs being sold and used, isn’t it?

But it’s too early to discount the idea that we’re moving in a different direction. Remember, three years ago, there was no such thing as an iPad in the first place. The iPad’s rise is nothing short of meteoric by any objective standard, and they’ve made some amazing strides in the last three years. But remember, we’re not talking so much about a thing you use instead of a PC (though some have done just that), so much as a thing you use alongside a PC, or a thing you take with you when you go places. The two devices serve very different, and some might even say complementary, purposes.

So while it’s probably too early to declare the PC dead technology, it’s clear that the iPad is making significant inroads into our culture, and will likely be a major part of our lives for years to come.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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