The PC market continues to slide, according to the latest estimates, and while Apple is seeing only a small gain or loss in shipments year-over-year depending on who is doing the counting, the Mac maker continues to outpace the overall market.
Gartner's numbers show Apple shipping 5.6 million Macs worldwide during the third quarter, an increase of 1.5 percent over the third quarter of 2014 and good enough for fourth place with 7.6 percent of the market, placing behind Lenovo, HP, and Dell. The global market as a whole saw a 7.7 percent decline in shipments, with only Dell at 0.5 percent joining Apple among top vendors with shipment growth.
In the U.S., Gartner estimates Apple's shipments grew 7.3 percent to 2.5 million, ahead of the market's 1.3 percent growth. Apple ranked third with 14.8 percent of the market, although Lenovo is rapidly closing with strong U.S. sales growth.
Compared to Gartner, IDC predicts steeper losses for the PC market, pegging the global shipment decline at 10.8 percent year-over-year with Apple falling 3.4 percent. That was, however, still good enough for fourth place worldwide with 7.5 percent of the market. IDC's U.S. numbers put Apple at 1.6 percent growth, reaching 13.7 percent share to edge out Lenovo as the third largest seller of PCs while the overall U.S. market fell 0.7 percent.
A better picture of Apple's Mac shipments will come on October 27 when the company reports earnings for the typically strong back-to-school quarter.