Tomi T Ahonen has done an interesting bit of number-crunching and concluded that, after three decades away from the top spot, Apple is once again the world’s biggest computer maker.
The rationale behind this is that all the major PC makers have now recognised the smartphone as being a computer. So, for the past couple of years Ahonen has added up all the computers made per year by a company and produced a league table of the results. Until Now, Nokia ruled. But this year there’s a new name at the top.
[TABLE=4]Number in brackets shows last year’s position. Figures from Tomi T Ahonen based on ‘public data’ from PC & smartphone sales, Apple figures, and some educated guesses
Now, of course, this should be taken with a pinch of salt, since the definition hugely favours hardware companies that happen to operate in what people intuitively regard as separate markets. But it’s interesting nonetheless.
And when was Apple last top of the pile? Before even the first Macintosh existed. The first Apple II had a 1 Megahertz processor, 4 Kilobytes of RAM, and a cassette drive that could cram about 600 Kilobytes onto a 90-minute tape. It cost $1,298. The current bottom of the range Apple ‘computer’ is the iPod touch. It has a 1 Gigahertz processor and 256 Megabytes of operating RAM. With 8 Gigabytes of storage, it costs $229. It’s a thousand times more powerful than the Apple II, and a fraction of the price. Moore’s Law in action.