Apple Surpassed 10% Share of Notebook Market in 2015 Amid Industry Decline
The latest data from research firm TrendForce shows that MacBook sales continue to gain momentum in an otherwise declining notebook market. Apple passed Asus and Acer to become the fourth-largest notebook maker in 2015, reaching 10.34 percent market share compared to 9.3 percent market share in 2014. Overall notebook shipments in 2015 were 164.4 million, down 6.3 percent from 175.5 million in 2014.
HP and Lenovo continued to lead the notebook industry in 2015 with around 20% market share each, but Apple is now within striking distance of Dell for third place. The comparison is unbalanced, however, as Apple only sells three different MacBook models, with the cheapest being the entry-level 11-inch MacBook Air for $899, while most PC makers have a wide selection of models and price points.
“HP and Lenovo will still be rivaling for the top spot in the notebook market during 2016,” said TrendForce notebook analyst Anita Wang. “HP has a good chance of holding the most market share this year and maintaining its leadership position because of the relatively stronger U.S. market. Dell will likely retain third place in the notebook shipment ranking for this year. As for ASUS, Apple and Acer, their struggle for the fourth, fifth and sixth positions in the 2016 ranking will be fierce since they have similar market shares of just around 10%.”
These numbers mirror overall PC market data shared by Gartner last month. Apple made it back into Gartner's list of top 5 worldwide PC vendors in the fourth quarter of 2015, although the company remains behind Asus with a lower 7.5% market share when factoring in desktop and other non-notebook PC sales. Worldwide PC shipments totaled 75.7 million units in Q4 2015, an 8.3 percent decline.
Apple is expected to introduce new Skylake-based Mac notebooks featuring Thunderbolt 3 with USB-C later this year. Intel has announced Skylake chips appropriate for the 13" MacBook Pro, 15" MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and 12" MacBook over the past year.
Opportunities for major product introductions could come at WWDC, likely scheduled for mid-June, although smaller updates could come at any time via press release. New Macs could also debut at Apple's rumored March 15 media event if there is enough stage time alongside the iPhone 5se, iPad Air 3, and Apple Watch updates.