With the emphatic arrival of the iPad, there’s been growing talk of the iPad being a post PC device ushering in a new post PC era. Indeed, PC sales are beginning to slow down, with new data from Gartner relaying that PC shipments have been declining for three straight quarters here in the US.
So what are we to make of this? Is the PC era really on the decline or are people increasingly buying products that duplicate the most desired features of the PC – namely tablets. While one can debate the merits of counting the iPad as a PC device, it’d be disingenuous to lament the fall of the PC while not factoring in the very type of device that may be responsible for that decline and can easily be described as a PC of sorts.
So with that in mind, the always insightful and refreshingly enterprising Horace Dediu decided to take PC growth rate data and map out the deltas over the past few quarters. For purposes of his analysis, however, Dediu decided to include iPad sales under the umbrella of PC sales for the Mac. The results are eye popping.
But the most telling line is the orange line which includes both the Mac and the iPad. In an industry where growth is usually measured in single digits, the iPad business brings growth in three digits.
This near tripling of unit sales is symptomatic of fundamental change that cannot be ignored. Although some analysts contend that the iPad is not causal to the decline in other PC sales, teasing out platforms data seems to show a divergent view.
The bottom line is that Windows-only computer units are down 2.0% while OSX-based computer units are up 272% (this excludes both the iPhone and iPod touch).
Hit the break to see the chart. You’ll be astonished.