My Photo

Ordering Information

Tomi on Twitter is @tomiahonen

  • Follow Tomi on Twitter as @tomiahonen
    Follow Tomi's Twitterfloods on all matters mobile, tech and media. Tomi has over 8,000 followers and was rated by Forbes as the most influential writer on mobile related topics

Book Tomi T Ahonen to Speak at Your Event

  • Contact Tomi T Ahonen for Speaking and Consulting Events
    Please write email to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com and indicate "Speaking Event" or "Consulting Work" or "Expert Witness" or whatever type of work you would like to offer. Tomi works regularly on all continents

Tomi on Video including his TED Talk

  • Tomi on Video including his TED Talk
    See Tomi on video from several recent keynote presentations and interviews, including his TED Talk in Hong Kong about Augmented Reality as the 8th Mass Media

Subscribe


Blog powered by Typepad

« Modelling Nokia X Scenarios and the Level of Desperation it Reveals | Main | Q1 Apple Results: iPhone market share down to 15% - plus some other bloodbath news »

February 27, 2014

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00e0097e337c883301a73d8345c3970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Largest Computer Manufacturers when Tablets and Smartphones Are Included (this blog remains so far the only public accounting of the most relevant measure of performance in the IT industry):

Comments

Aviezer

Dear Tomi,

This table seems to have errors in the calculation of the percentage.

COMPUTERS SOLD IN 2013 BY PLATFORM TYPE
Smartphones . . . . . . 990 M . . 57%
Traditional PCs . . . . 316 M . . 29%
Tablet PCs . . . . . . . 186 M . . 14%
Total Computers . . 1,492 M

eduardom

@Aviezer

Right, it looks like the 2012 percentages got copied over to 2013

jj

How about smart TVs? Those should be counted as computers as well.

DarwinPhish

Tomi: Does the 290M for Windows include all current variants (Windows, Windows Phone and Windows RT)?

E.Casais

Blackberry is 2% in the OS list, but does not appear in the top 10, with Coolpad at nr. 10 with 2%. Am I right in deducing from this that those 2% for Blackberry OS result from rounding up its OS share (from 1.something to 2%)?

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi gang thanks for comments

Aviezer - good catch, yes that is typo. As eduardom spotted the percentages were accidentally left to be from last year. The absolute numbers are correct. I've corrected it now

eduardom - well spotted

jj - it remains to be seen if smart TVs will be considered computers (mostly depends if a real 'apps' environment evolves for them. That call is not mine, we need to see how the IT industry itself reacts to them. If all we do with connected TVs is surf the internet, then most likely they won't be included. Obviously their shipment numbers are currently too small to register in the big picture.

DarwinPhish - yep. all variants of Windows

E - You're correct. Blackberry only shipped 23 million smartphones in 2013 plus a smattering of tablets so their market share to one decimal point is 1.6% and I've rounded it up to 2%.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Timo M

In 2005 I told my friend, after having a sudden revelation, that the future of computing has been revealed to me. I showed him a Nokia smartphone and said that this is what computers are going to be like in the future. Smartphones are computers are smartphones.

He stared at me blankly...

More seriously: this is where I fully ride the Tomi wagon. I have never made any distinction between computers and smartphones which is why I found the Windows Phone such a miserable failure. MS had designed it as if it was something called a "smartphone" and something completely other than a computer. Early on Symbian did it all computer-like and, well, the rest can be read here. Computer Android rules the world.

But now! Behold! The last news from WP8.1 update is spectacular!

Microsoft has learned the lesson. The next version will turn WP to a computer.

Is it too late?

It is too late.

foo

@Timo M

> But now! Behold! The last news from WP8.1 update is spectacular!
>
> Microsoft has learned the lesson. The next version will turn WP to a computer.

I like Microsoft's plan of convergence.

But I see one big problem: Windows Phone won't be able to run native (x86_64) Windows applications.

This little detail creates all sort of confusion for end users: they buy a device that won't be able to execute certain applications. So (in their heads) that's not a real computer.

Perhaps they are being mislead by the name "Windows".

Android doesn't have this problem, since people don't expect to run Windows applications in it. If they can connect their smartphones or tablets to a big screen, that's a bonus. With "Windows", that's the minimum that users expect -- and Microsoft still can't offer the full experience.

E.Casais

"I don't think it's ALL that relevant to lump phones in with desktop computers."

It actually makes sense in a variety of ways:

All traditional activities performed on a desktop can be -- and are -- carried out on smartphones and tablets alike: browsing, sending and receiving e-mails, video-conferencing, playing games, ERP front-end, perusing and editing office documents, recording, editing and playing videos, etc.

In addition, smartphones are increasingly used where traditionally computers were put into action: laboratory data recording devices, monitoring devices (e.g. camera security), process control (e.g. robotics), etc.

There is one big exception: programming -- which is done neither with smartphones, nor on tablets, thus remaining the province of laptop/desktop computers.

Furthermore, the Motorola Atrix and Acer Extend have demonstrated that the frontier between a PC and a smartphone is no longer watertight.

From a functional perspective, including smartphones into a general computing category therefore makes sense.

"It's not really competition."

But of course it is! People acquire the devices that enable them to fulfill their computing and communication needs, taking into account technical and economic constraints. If desktops do not satisfy those constraints, then something else will do.

"You could just as easily add gaming systems [...] smart tv's [...] cars [...] Smart Watches and other wearables"

Can you achieve the computing and communication tasks listed above? No, since these are special-purpose devices, even if they partly rely upon similar hardware as tablets/PC/phones.

foo

@LeeBase

> It makes for interesting posts, but I don't think it's ALL that relevant to lump phones in
> with desktop computers... It's not really competition.

That's a very good point.

Should we only aggregate products because they don't compete directly?

For instance: can't we aggregate apples and oranges? Yes, we can: that's called "fruits".

We can even aggregate everything a country produces (from agriculture to computers) and call it GNP -- and, thus, compare nations.

So... can't we aggregate smartphones, tablets and computers and call them "computing devices"? Yes we can. (Perhaps that's better than "computers").

If we add TVs and games to the mix, we can talk about "connected devices" or "multimedia devices".

foo

In the news: don't count Tizen dead yet?

Engadget: Hands-on with Samsung's vastly improved Tizen OS

Samsung's device lineup may still be heavily dominated by Android, but change is in the air. Tizen, the open-source OS it jointly develops with Intel, powers the company's three new Gear wearables, and smartphones are coming later this year.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/02/27/samsung-tizen-os-prototype/

Duke

@foo ...don't bother with the professional astroturfers. They are assigned to this blog and will always hang around to push the laughable viewpoint that Microsoft is wonderful, will succeed over the long run, ...all the usual crap continuing from years ago that has been proven wrong over and over ...and, of course, attack Google at every opportunity. It is clear that Microsoft is in serious decline. No one wants their products when given a choice.

Ionescu Paul

Maybe it would be worth mentioning that Android is based on Linux. No wonder that always MS has seen Linux as a rival and has tried to kill it since more than 10 years ago (see SCO vs IBM here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO_v._IBM ).

R

The terminology is really confusing.

The Xbox can be considered a computer, too. Very limited, but much more usable than a 1970's Heathkit. http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/12/i-wrote-this-post-on-my-xbox-one-or-using-a-game-console-as-a-work-machine/

I'm wondering about whether different GNU/Linux distributions count together, and whether it includes servers and VMs, but I'm pretty sure that's fewer than the 23 million needed to reach Blackberry. For example, the Munich city government switched to GNU/Linux, and it was highly publicized, but it was only about 15,000 total installed computers. http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-munich-rejected-steve-ballmer-and-kicked-microsoft-out-of-the-city/

Also, cloud VM unit market share seems different than normal PC market share. You can deploy, use, and decommission a cloud VM in less than an hour, and redeploy it again the next day. This cloud VM could be running, along with many other VMs, on an anonymous server in a giant data center filled with identical servers. The other VMs could be running different operating systems, and the host system could be Linux or VMware or several others. So, this server is 1 unit of Linux, or 5 units of Linux and 5 units of Windows, or 100 partial-units of Linux, or simply not counted.

John Fro

Why don't cable companies sell "app space" through an "app store" model on their TV set top boxes? These things are computers, and I could see people playing games and other stuff on them through their TV's. The only issue would be the need for an interface, but that could be an upsellable remote too.

eduardom

@Ionescu Paul

Yes, and both android and apple's os's run on open-source unix clones with custom touch gui's and optimized for ARM.

I guess the reason Microsoft has been a failure on phones and tablets is they aren't following that proven path to success.

Baron95

This is great info. But you need to add at least 2 categories to be complete:

One is obvious - smart music players - mostly iPodTouch anyway. An iPodTouch is no less a computer than an iPad Mini or iPhone. In fact it runs the same SW.

The other we can debate. Game consoles. My position is the XbosOne and PS4 are the most advanced computers in many people's homes. They have the most computing and graphics power, motion/gesture recognition in the air, are nearly all Internet connected, etc.

One key observation on your list: Not a single European company. Not one!!!

Thus why Nokia had no chance when phones became "computers".

If you include the two devices above, Microsoft will be on your list once it completes the acquisition of Nokia. Between Lumias, Nokia X, Surface, Xbox it will be shipping 50M+ devices/year.

Baron95

Or lets go a step further. ALL of the companies on the list are either American, South Korean, Chinese or Japanese.

Yes, I know that many are, in fact, multinational companies. Sony Studios in LA is no more Japanese than Apple. But you get my point.

There is something special in the US West, South Korea, Japan in China East/SouthEast that hatches these companies successfully.

Can any company say in Europe or India or South America break into this club of fast movers?

Winter

@Boron95
"ALL of the companies on the list are either American, South Korean, Chinese or Japanese."

But the CPU design (ARM) and the machinery (e.g., ASML) to make them is European. The OS is coded all over the world. So, we have come to the conclusion that all the Computational devices in the list are made by humans, and humans only.

Winter

@R
"The Xbox can be considered a computer, too. Very limited, but much more usable than a 1970's Heathkit."

You have to draw a boundary somewhere. And if the industry puts the boundaries at phones tablets and "conventional" personal computers, then that is it.

There is some logic behind it.

At my home the replacement of desktops and laptops was delayed indefinitely because most tasks that would require a replacement were done on phones and tablets. The latest sales numbers show this is rather common. I can already link up my tablet to a big screen and keyboard and do real work. The only thing I really need a laptop for is for programming. But in a few years I think I can do that on my phone with the same screen and keyboard I use now.

RottenApple

@Baron95:

"One key observation on your list: Not a single European company. Not one!!!"

Maybe that's because European PC sellers tend to operate more locally, thus ending up in the 'others' segment.
It doesn't tell much where stuff comes from but it tells a lot about the structure of different markets.

US and South Korea have a clear preference for larger corporations than Europe.

In the end most of the hardware is produced in China anyway.

foo

@LeeBase

I'm not trying to give a definitive answer, but to question wether we should count PCs and tablets together.

Microsoft used to think that, yes, "tablets are PCs" (that's what Steve Ballmer said at D8 / 2010).

I always believed that there was one key difference between PCs and tablets: PCs are used to create content, and tablets to consume.

That's, perhaps, the problem with Microsoft's approach: they tried to unify the interface of two devices that serve different purposes. As Tim Cook said in 2012, "You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those aren’t going to be pleasing to the user".

On the other hand -- it is possible that in a 5-10 years timeframe all tablets and smartphones will be able to be "docked" to external keyboards, monitors and mouse; and, thus, work as regular PCs.

If that happens, and I think it will, counting them together will be absolutely normal.

RottenApple

@foo:

On the other hand -- it is possible that in a 5-10 years timeframe all tablets and smartphones will be able to be "docked" to external keyboards, monitors and mouse; and, thus, work as regular PCs. If that happens, and I think it will, counting them together will be absolutely normal."


Agreed. From a technical perspective this would already be doable - if it weren't for the crippled smartphone OSs that are ill suited for content creation.

I think this is Microsoft's last chance to stay relevant. If they manage to release a phone that can be run as a fully featured desktop PC they still might have a chance. And for this scenario I think they have the best offering at the moment, although it'd be foolish to count out Apple and Google.

foo

@RottenApple

The irony is that instead of creating a mobile interface that could be scaled up to content creation, Microsoft bet on a PC interface that was optimized for content consumption.

Perhaps they expected that people would get used to the new interface in a couple of years. But they didn't.

The nightmare scenario for Microsoft is that in which people see Android, and not Windows, as the better interface to unify PCs and mobile.

And I can see that happening.

foo

This analyst uses the term "hybrid ultramobiles" to define devices that "marry the functionality of a PC and a tablet":

> One trend for this year — the analyst group said replacement buyers will start upgrading to new hybrid ultramobiles
> especially if they don't want to own multiple devices: "There is an opportunity here for hybrid ultramobiles to marry
> the functionality of a PC and a tablet, and they will also prove to be an attractive alternative replacement product
> among businesses," Cozza said.

http://www.zdnet.com/android-races-past-ios-to-tablet-number-one-but-theres-no-budging-apple-from-the-top-slot-7000026927/

2014 will be an interesting year. :)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls

  • Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising
    Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download

Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

  • Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
    A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.

Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

Tomi's Fave Twitterati