Apple Again Trails U.S. PC Market in Key Back-to-School Quarter as Tablets Continue to Eat Into PC Sales

Research firms Gartner and IDC today released their preliminary calculations of PC shipments for the third quarter of 2013, finding that worldwide shipments fell by roughly 8% over the year-ago quarter, extending the current sales slide to 18 months. Top worldwide vendors Lenovo, HP, and Dell held up reasonably well, but smaller vendors such Acer and Asus experienced dramatic year-over-year declines in of around 22% according to Gartner and 34% according to IDC.

"The third quarter is often referred to as the 'back-to-school' quarter for PC sales, and sales this quarter dropped to their lowest volume since 2008," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "Consumers' shift from PCs to tablets for daily content consumption continued to decrease the installed base of PCs both in mature as well as in emerging markets. A greater availability of inexpensive Android tablets attracted first-time consumers in emerging markets, and as supplementary devices in mature markets."

gartner_3Q13_us

Gartner's Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q13 (Thousands of Units)

According to Gartner's numbers, the U.S. market held up significantly better than the global market, actually registering a 3.5% increase in shipments led by fourth-place Lenovo's 24.6% gain. For its part, Apple was the only one of the top five vendors to see a year-over-year decline in shipments, falling by 2.3% to take 13.4% of the market. Apple was, however, able to show some relative strength over the previous quarter, using its popularity in education to increase its U.S. share from 11.6% in the second quarter to 13.4% in the back-to-school third quarter.

gartner_3Q13_us_trend

Apple's U.S. Market Share Trend: 1Q06-3Q13 (Gartner)

IDC's numbers painted an even worse picture for Apple, with the company's 11.2% year-over-year decline in U.S. Mac shipments trailing the overall U.S. market, which declined just 0.2%. As in the Gartner survey, third-place Apple, which garnered 11.6% of the U.S. market according to IDC, was the only one of the top five PC manufacturers to see a decline in shipments.

As usual, neither Gartner nor IDC covered Apple's worldwide market share for the quarter, as the company does not rank among the top five vendors on a worldwide basis.

The only Mac product Apple updated leading into the back-to-school shopping season was the MacBook Air, which was updated at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The iMac, Apple's flagship desktop machine, was not updated until late last month while the MacBook Pro has not been updated since February. Apple's Mac mini is also due for an update, and an all-new version of the Mac Pro is set for release by the end of this year.

Top Rated Comments

aitikin Avatar
99 months ago
Obviously

Mac sales falter in the PC market when they haven't done any update to their more budget friendly laptops in over a year. Why is this a surprise or considered news? In fact, I disagree with headline in the fact that they seem to be implying that it's because of the iPad.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Klae17 Avatar
99 months ago
Should have updated the MacBook Pros, iMac, and Mac mini at WWDC.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Virtualball Avatar
99 months ago
The drop was due to them not updating their laptops...

I know I was willing to buy a rMBP back in June but yet they're still not here. :mad:
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Krazy Bill Avatar
99 months ago
I really don't see what iPads have to do with this.

If a company doesn't make their OSX line a priority... then nobody will buy it. It's really that simple.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
slu Avatar
99 months ago
Update the Mac mini and I'll buy one tomorrow. There are a lot of people waiting.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OLDCODGER Avatar
99 months ago
It is interesting to realize, if tablets are taking over from PCs, just how little the average consumer actually does with a laptop/desktop.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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