Apple's Mac Shipments Down in Q3 2017 Amid Continuing PC Market Decline
Amid an ongoing decline in worldwide PC shipments, Apple's Mac shipments also experienced a decline in the third quarter of 2017 according to new PC shipping estimates shared this afternoon by Gartner. In Q3 2017, Apple shipped an estimated 4.6 million Macs worldwide, down from 4.89 million in the year-ago quarter, marking a 5.6 percent decline in growth.
Apple's market share for the quarter comes in at 6.9 percent, down from 7 percent in the third quarter of 2016. Apple was ranked the number five worldwide PC vendor after HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Asus. Apple was also the number five worldwide PC vendor in 3Q 2016, but the company has dropped from number four since Q2 2017.
Aside from HP, all PC vendors saw a drop in shipments. HP shipped an estimated 14.6 million PCs during the quarter for 4.4 growth and 21.8 percent market share, while Lenovo shipped an estimated 14.4 million PCs for 21.4 percent market share. Dell shipped an estimated 10 million PCs for 15.2 percent market share, while Asus shipped 4.9 million PCs for 7.7 percent market share. Acer trailed after Apple with 4.3 million PCs shipped and 6.5 percent market share.
According to Gartner, ongoing DRAM shortages worsened during the third quarter of 2017, impacting sales and leading to an overall PC shipment decline of 3.6 percent. Worldwide PC shipments totaled 67 million across vendors, down from 69.5 million in Q3 2016, marking 12 consecutive quarters of declining PC shipments.
"The component price hike impacted the consumer PC market as most vendors generally pass the price hike on to consumers, rather than absorbing the cost themselves," Ms. Kitagawa said. "We expect the DRAM shortage to continue to the end of 2018, but it will not be reflected in the final PC prices immediately."
Apple's U.S. numbers mirror its worldwide numbers. In the United States, Apple shipped an estimated 1.9 million Macs, a 7.6 percent decline from the 2 million shipped in Q3 2016.
U.S. PC shipments totaled 14.7 million units during the quarter, down from 16.4 million for an overall decline of 10.3 percent. Apple was ranked the number three PC vendor in the United States with 12.8 percent market share. HP and Dell both beat out Apple with shipments of 4.7 and 3.8 million PCs, respectively.
IDC also released its own shipment estimates this afternoon, noting a smaller 0.5 percent decline in overall worldwide PC shipments. IDC's worldwide shipping estimates are quite a bit different than Gartner's this quarter, with IDC estimating worldwide Mac shipments of 4.9 million, up slightly from 4.89 million in the year-ago quarter for a growth increase of 0.3 percent.
IDC ranks Apple as the number four PC vendor, above ASUS and below HP, Lenovo, and Dell. IDC and Gartner's data often varies due to the different ways each firm makes its shipment calculations.
It's important to note that data from Gartner and IDC is preliminary and the numbers can shift, sometimes dramatically and sometimes less so. Last year, for example, Gartner estimated shipments of 4.95 million Macs, but the actual number was 4.89 million.
Apple last refreshed its Mac notebook and iMac lineup in June of 2017, and the company has plans to release a new iMac Pro in December, which could lead to an uptick in shipments if it proves popular with pro users.