If you've wondered why Apple would devote an entire event to iPad and textbooks in education but give the new version of Mac software, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion little more than a press release and a web page, here's a a blurb Tim Cook let slip in his talk this week at the Goldman Tech Conference:
"This 55 is something no one would have guessed. Including us. To put it in context, it took us 22 years to sell 55 million Macs. It took us about 5 years to sell 22 million iPods, and it took us about 3 years to sell that many iPhones. And so, this thing is, as you said, it’s on a trajectory that’s off the charts."
The fine folks at Asymco unpacked that a little further and looked at how many Macs Apple has sold over the last 28 years or so. 122 million Macs have been sold to date, while the iOS platform has reached a staggering 316 million units since launch. iOS outpaced OS X after the first four years, but if that's not enough, iOS could have done it in the last year alone with 156 million supporting products sold in 2011. This graph puts those sales into stark visual comparison.
Even with the iPhone alone, the growth is insane, but you can see how the iPad is showing a similar rate of adoption. Every day, it feels like we are finding new and exciting ways to illustrate precisely how much ass Apple is kicking. If the Mountain Lion preview didn't make it obvious, this graph should show just how easy it will be for iOS to become Apple's primary operating system for tablets, phones, and computers in the long haul.