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25-Year PC Anniversary Statistics
IBM-Compatible PC Sales have topped 1.5B units Worth $B 3,100.

August 14, 2006 -
The IBM PC was announced on August 12, 1981 and became available for sale two months later. Because IBM encouraged other companies to develop IBM-compatible PCs, it quickly became a standard for the whole PC industry. Compaq introduced the first IBM-compatible PC in January 1983 and over 100 other companies followed in the next decade. In the early 1990s Microsoft wrestled away IBM’s leadership of the PC standard and it became Windows-compatible PCs.

The next table shows the 25-year growth of the IBM PC and the industry it created. The data includes 5-year periods for PC unit sales and PC retail value. The sales started slowly with 5.7M units from 1981 to 1985, which grew to 855M units in the last 5-year period ending August 2006.

MS-DOS & Windows PC Sales

  USA Million Units WW Million Units USA Value $B USA Value $B
1981-1985 3.8 5.7 10.5 16.9
1986-1990 28.1 60.3 76.4 181
1991-1995 64.3 172 153 447
1996-2000 162 444 335 1,010
2001-8/2006 267 855 424 1,440
8/1981-8/2006 580 1,540 998 3,100

PCs based on the original IBM PC architecture have sold 580M units in 25 years worth nearly $B 1,000 in the USA. Worldwide sales of MS-DOS and Windows PCs since August 1981 have surpassed 1.5B units with a value of $B 3,100. The revenue figures include initial hardware sales only and exclude PC software and services.

The estimates are from two market research reports by eTForecasts. The Worldwide PC report has yearly sales for desktop and mobile PCs for the USA and six regions of the world. The Computers in-use report has PCs in-use estimates for 57 countries, major regions and worldwide.

eTForecasts publishes market research reports for the PC, PDA/Smartphones, cell phones and Internet industries.