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.

idc_1q13_us

IDC's Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q13 (Thousands of Units)

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_1q13_us

Gartner's Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q13 (Thousands of Units)

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.

gartner_1q13_us_trend

Apple's U.S. Market Share Trend: 1Q06-1Q13 (Gartner)

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Top Rated Comments

Patriot24 Avatar
147 months ago
The Jobs aura is wearing off. Tim Cook just hasn't got it. :(

Cook is responsible for industry-wide decline in PC shipments?

He is responsible for a decline in Mac sales due to too many people buying iPads?

OK. :rolleyes:
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JAT Avatar
147 months ago
Remember when people were worried about net books taking over the world? Tablets are succeeding.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lancer Avatar
147 months ago
I said tablets and smartphones would start taking over, many people just need basic access to the internet for banking and shopping, which can be done on a phone.

But that being said I love my new 27" iMac! :D
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Itpirate Avatar
147 months ago
People are not refreshing computers like they used to. Where I work it has gone from a 3 year refresh, to a 4, and now 5 year refresh.

We are also starting to implement VDI where it makes sense and this will really start to eat into computer sales.

The days of swapping out that old workstation every 2 to 3 years are gone.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cppguy Avatar
147 months ago
A tablet is nice for reading in the bed or on the couch, but for working all day every day... you gotta be kidding me. How can you give up your 27" display, a physical keyboard and a proper mouse? That said, I'm a hardcore developer working with PDF, DOC, images, while doing photography as a hobby. I don't see myself giving up real computers, unless some sort of a direct brain interface is developed.

What happens is that for basic computer use a yearly upgrade is not necessary. Even I upgrade every 3 years or so, even though I'm running 10 virtual machines and shoot 36 megapixel images. The average person doesn't have to upgrade at all anymore. Unless they're still running Windows XP, which slows down completely after 2 years of use.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HenryDJP Avatar
147 months ago
Dear Apple: Take note of Lenovo. Enterprise users want something different than what you give to the kiddies. With iOSX You truly are a general consumer company now with 100% of your products fully entrenched in that market.

All that Apple talent. A shame. :(
Dear Apple, people that have Krazy Bill's thinking are in the minority and please don't forget that when you catered to a niche like Lenovo does your company almost closed it's doors back in 1999 so please don't listen to Krazy Bill, you're doing the right thing with your business model.

Oh Apple, one more thing, some people like Krazy Bill tend to forget that professional businesses extend further than the enterprise world, you know, like the Music Recording Industry that uses Macs and OS X exclusively to record and remaster all the music people buy today? Yeah so again Apple, keep doing what you're doing. Some people just don't get it. ;)
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)