Apple and Microsoft are not exactly rivals, that they were say twenty years ago. But since Microsoft is (or was) one the most successful technology company (before Apple became the World's most valuable technology company), it is interesting to compare these two company's devices sold each quarter. Ben Evans had this nice plot of device sales of the two platforms, Apple and Microsoft.
There have been a lot of blogs that referenced this article today and unfortunately most of the comments and some bloggers themselves have been concentrating too much on the Apple beats Microsoft bandwagon. I think this plot enunciates a couple of more important findings. The above plot compares devices, made and sold by Apple (iPhone, iPad & Macs) and devices that have Microsoft's software installed devices, made by Microsoft and their other partnering companies. Do you get the difference? Apple manufactures all the devices in the above plot, while Microsoft makes only a fraction of them!
Another marked difference shows up when you split up the devices sold by the two companies. While Microsoft's 90 odd million devices comprise mostly of PCs and tablets with less than 10% of those belonging to the Windows phone. Apple on the other hand, out of its 90 odd million devices, has sold only less than 10% of those devices from the Mac family. More than 90% of Apple's device sales were iPhones and iPads (some iPod Touches, as well). But from last (few) quarter sales information from Apple (51 million iPhones and 25 million iPads), the iPhones outsell iPads generally by at least 2 or 3 to 1. So it is fair to assume that out of the 90% of the iOS devices that Apple sold, 60 to 70% of them were the iPhones. So clearly this one plot signifies how the mobile market has grown almost to the level of the traditional PC market, ushering in the era of mobile computing!