Worldwide Mac Sales Hold Steady as PC Market Sees Shipments Decline 9.6% in Q1 2016
Amid a decline in worldwide PC shipments, Apple's Mac sales have held steady, according to new PC shipping estimates from Gartner. During the first quarter of 2016, Apple shipped 4.6 million Macs worldwide and held 7.1 percent of the market, up from 4.56 million Mac shipments and 6.4 percent of the market during the first quarter of 2015.
While Apple only saw 1 percent worldwide growth, it fared better than the overall PC market, which saw total worldwide shipments of 64.8 million, a 9.6 percent decline from 71.7 million shipments in Q1 2015. Among other vendors, Lenovo and HP saw some of the biggest shipment drops with 12.5 million and 11.4 million shipments in 1Q 2016, down from 13.5 million and 12.5 million, respectively, in the year-ago quarter.
With 7.1 percent of the market, Apple ranked as the number five worldwide vendor, coming in after Lenovo (19.3% share), HP (17.6% share), Dell (14.1% share), and ASUS (8.3% share). Other vendors, not ranked in the top five, accounted for 33.6 percent of the market.
The deterioration of local currencies against the U.S. dollar continued to play a major role in PC shipment declines. Our early results also show there was an inventory buildup from holiday sales in the fourth quarter of 2015," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.
While Apple's worldwide numbers were steady, Mac sales in the United States appear to have dipped slightly. According to Gartner's data, Apple shipped 1.666 million PCs in the United States, for 12.7 percent of the market. That's down from 1.672 million in the year-ago quarter, but market share is up from 11.8 percent.
Dell, the number one vendor in the U.S., shipped 3.5 million PCs in Q1 2016 for 26.3 percent of the market, while HP shipped 3.1 million for 23.7 percent of the market. Lenovo saw the greatest growth with 1.9 million shipments and 14.5 percent of the market, while ASUS saw a decline in shipments from 770,000 in Q1 2015 to 667,000 in Q1 2016 for just 5.1 percent of the market.
In the overall U.S. PC market, shipments totaled 13.1 million in the first quarter of 2016, a decline of 6.6 percent compared to the year-ago quarter and the lowest shipment volume in the country in three years.
IDC also released its shipment estimates today, and as is typical, its numbers are different than Gartner's numbers, in part due to the difference in the way Windows-based tablets are counted by each firm. According to IDC, worldwide PC shipments totaled 60.6 million, for an overall decline of 11.5 percent.
While Gartner ranks Apple as number five vendor in worldwide PC shipments, IDC ranks Apple as number four with 4.5 million shipments and 7.4 percent of the market (a decline from 4.6 million shipments in Q1 2015), edging out ASUS's 4.4 million shipments. As for U.S. shipments, IDC puts the total number at 13.625 million, an overall decline of 5.8 percent.
IDC's U.S. shipment estimates are more favorable to Apple, suggesting PC shipments totaling 1.8 million and 13 percent market share for growth of 5.6 percent rather than the slight decline Gartner estimates. Like Gartner, IDC lists Dell (3.5m shipments), HP (3.5m shipments), Lenovo (1.9m shipments), and Apple (1.8m shipments) as the top four PC vendors in the United States, but IDC positions Acer Group (711,000 shipments) as the number five vendor while Gartner lists it as ASUS.
It's important to note that data from Gartner and IDC is preliminary and that the numbers can shift, sometimes dramatically, while other times, the estimates are closer to the actual data. Last year, for example, Gartner estimated Apple's Q1 2015 U.S. PC shipments to be 1.670 million, fairly close to the correct 1.672 million shipment number.