Apple's U.S. Mac Shipments Fall 7.5% as Overall PC Market Plunges 14% Year-Over-Year [Updated]
Research firm IDC today released its preliminary calculations of PC shipments for the first quarter of 2013, finding the worst year-over-year performance in the nearly 20-year history of its tracking studies. According to IDC's numbers, the worldwide PC market declined nearly 14% compared to the first quarter of 2012, with the U.S. market declining by nearly 13%.
Despite some mild improvement in the economic environment and some new PC models offering Windows 8, PC shipments were down significantly across all regions compared to a year ago. Fading Mini Notebook shipments have taken a big chunk out of the low-end market while tablets and smartphones continue to divert consumer spending. PC industry efforts to offer touch capabilities and ultraslim systems have been hampered by traditional barriers of price and component supply, as well as a weak reception for Windows 8. The PC industry is struggling to identify innovations that differentiate PCs from other products and inspire consumers to buy, and instead is meeting significant resistance to changes perceived as cumbersome or costly.
While Apple's performance was far from stellar, the company did outperform the market by showing only a 7.5% decline in shipments in the United States. Apple's performance allowed it increase its third-place share of the U.S. market from 9.4% to 10.0% as leaders HP and Dell saw significant declines, but a smaller decline from Toshiba and strong growth from Lenovo placed those vendors close behind Apple.
Apple does not rank on IDC's list of top five vendors on a worldwide basis, with Asus holding down the bottom spot at 5.7% of the market. Lenovo was, however, the only one of the top five worldwide vendors to avoid major declines in PC shipments, managing to hold steady amid the declining market.
Update: Gartner has released its own data showing a similar picture for the PC market as a whole, estimating an 11.2% year-over-year decline for the worldwide market and a 9.6% decline in the United States.
Gartner's numbers for Apple in the United States, however, show a completely different story, with Apple's shipments estimated to have risen by 7.4% compared to IDC's estimate of a 7.5% decline.