Apple Maintains Mac Sales Momentum Amid Overall Worldwide PC Market Decline
Amid an overall decline in worldwide PC shipments, Apple is the sole manufacturer that saw positive shipment growth, according to new PC shipping estimates from Gartner. With worldwide PC shipments from Lenovo, HP, Dell, ASUS, and Acer down, Apple also broke into Gartner's list of top 5 worldwide PC vendors for the first time since Q3 2015.
During the fourth quarter of 2015, Apple shipped 5.7 million PCs, for 7.5 percent market share. That's up from 5.5 million PCs and 6.7 percent market share in the year ago quarter, for an overall year-over-year growth of 2.8 percent. Worldwide PC shipments totaled 75.7 million units in Q4 2015, an 8.3 percent decline, with Acer and Lenovo seeing some of the biggest drops.
In the United States, Apple saw more significant growth of 6.5 percent, shipping an estimated 2.2 million PCs in Q4 2015 for 12.8 percent market share. That's up from 2 million PCs and 11.6 percent market share in Q4 2014. When it comes to U.S. PC shipments, Lenovo saw significant growth with 2.1 million shipments, while ASUS maintained status quo with 1.2 million shipments. HP, Dell, and manufacturers in the "Other" group that comprises non top-5 vendors, all saw a decline in shipments.
Overall PC sales in the United States during the fourth quarter of 2015 were at 16.9 million, a decline of 3.1 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. According to Gartner, PCs were not a top holiday gift item.
"Holiday sales had a limited impact on PC sales in the U.S. market," Ms. Kitagawa said. "Notebooks were off the top wish list of holiday gifts. Unlike 2014 holiday sales, there were not many holiday mega deals for laptops, especially in value segments. At the same time, consumers' interest shifted to other consumer electronics devices such as TV's and wearables. "
For the full year, Gartner estimates Apple shipped a total of 20.7 million PCs worldwide, ranking the company as the number 5 worldwide PC vendor for 2015. That's up from 19.6 million total in 2014, for a total growth of 5.8 percent and a 7.2 percent share of the market. Lenovo was the market leader in 2015 with 57 million shipments, while HP was second with 52 million and Dell and ASUS were third and fourth with 39 and 21 million shipments, respectively.
IDC also released its own estimates of Apple's worldwide and U.S. PC shipments during the fourth quarter of 2015, which are surprisingly close to Gartner's numbers considering the two firms' estimates typically differ significantly. IDC also estimates Apple shipped 5.7 million PCs during the quarter, for 7.9 percent market share. Like Gartner, IDC ranks Apple as the number 5 worldwide PC vendor.
For U.S. shipments, IDC estimates Apple shipped 2.2 million machines for a 12.7 percent share of the market. Both Gartner and IDC rank Apple as the number three PC vendor in the United States, below HP and Dell. IDC's shipment estimate for the full year also matches Gartner's, with Apple responsible for 20.7 million shipments and 7.5 percent market share, up from 19.6 million shipments and 6.3 percent market share in 2014.
It's important to note that data from Data from Gartner and IDC is preliminary and the numbers can shift. Last year, for example, Gartner predicted PC shipments of 2.1 million and 11.7 percent market share for Apple in 4Q 2014, later revising that number to 2 million shipments and 11.6 percent market share.
Gartner and IDC both position Apple as the sole top vendor that saw positive worldwide growth in 2015, and the same trend could continue into 2016. Apple is expected to refresh many of its Macs during the year, introducing significant upgrades in the form of Skylake processors for most machines.