Apple Maintains Mac Sales Momentum in Holiday Quarter
Apple saw an increase in its U.S. PC shipments during the recent holiday quarter, according to PC shipping estimates from Gartner. Apple shipped over 2.1 million Macs in 4Q14, up from 1.9 million Macs in 4Q13, marking an 11.5 percent increase. Though the company's shipments were up, its growth rate slightly trailed the overall market, resulting in a share of 11.7 percent down from 11.9 percent in the year ago quarter.
With its 11.7 percent share of the market, Apple is the third largest PC vendor in the United States, behind HP and Dell, which captured 29.2 and 22.6 percent of the market, respectively. Lenovo and ASUS came in behind Apple, with 10.2 and 6.8 percent of the market, respectively.
Overall, U.S PC shipments totaled 18.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014, a 13.1 percent increase from the year ago quarter. HP saw the largest amount of growth in the U.S. at 26.2 percent, followed by Lenovo's 21.6 percent growth, Dell's 13.5 percent growth, and Apple's aforementioned 11.5 percent growth.
IDC has also released its own estimates of Apple's U.S. PC shipments during the holiday quarter, which are quite different from Gartner's estimates. According to IDC, overall U.S. PC shipments totaled 17.6 million, with Apple responsible for 2.2 million of those with a growth rate of 18.1 percent.
In IDC's estimations, Apple's share of the market grew from 11.3 percent in 4Q13 to 12.7 percent in 4Q14, rather than declining slightly as in Gartner's estimate. Gartner and IDC often have different numbers due to the fact that Gartner counts Windows-based tablets as personal computers, while IDC does not.
Apple does not rank as one of the top five worldwide vendors in Gartner's data, which ranks ASUS above Apple, but in IDC's data, Apple ranks higher than ASUS and is counted as the number five worldwide PC vendor. IDC's data suggests that Apple's worldwide PC marketshare climbed to 7.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 with a record breaking 5.7 million shipments, while Gartner's data suggests ASUS was the number five worldwide PC vendor with 6.2 million shipments.
It is important to note that data from Gartner and IDC is preliminary and that the numbers can shift. Last year, for example, Gartner predicted shipments of 2.2 million for Apple in 4Q13, later revising that number to 1.9 million.