Apple's Mac Sales Down in Q3 2018 Amid a Lack of Updates

Apple's worldwide Mac shipments were down in the third quarter of 2018, according to new preliminary PC shipping estimates shared this afternoon by Gartner.

During the quarter, Apple shipped an estimated 4.9 million Macs, compared to 5.4 million in the third quarter of 2017 for an 8.5 percent drop. Apple's market share also declined, dropping from 8 percent in 3Q17 to 7.3 percent in 3Q18.

Gartner's Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q18 (Thousands of Units)

Apple continues to be the number four PC vendor in the world, ranking below Lenovo, HP, and Dell, but above Acer and Asus. Lenovo was the number one vendor during the quarter, shipping an estimated 15.8 million PCs for 23.6 percent market share.

HP came in second with 14.6 million PCs shipped for 21.8 percent market share, while Dell was third with 10.7 million PCs shipped and 16 percent market share. Acer and Asus both shipped around 4 million PCs for 6.1 and 6 percent market share, respectively.

Apple's Market Share Trend: 1Q06-3Q18 (Gartner)

Apple's decline in Mac sales is no surprise as the company has yet to update much of its Mac lineup for 2018. The only Mac that has seen a refresh so far is the MacBook Pro, with MacBook, MacBook Air, and Mac mini updates still on the horizon for a fall launch.

Falling Mac sales come amid stagnant growth for the overall worldwide PC market. A total of 67.2 million PCs were shipped during the quarter, an 0.1 percent increase from the third quarter of 2017.

Apple also saw a decrease in Mac shipments in the United States during 3Q18. Apple shipped a total of 2 million Macs during the quarter, down from 2.2 million in 3Q17, for a 7.6 percent drop in growth and 13.7 percent market share.

Gartner's Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q18 (Thousands of Units)

HP was the number one PC vendor in the United States, shipping 4.5 million PCs for 30.7 percent market share. Dell came in at number two with 3.8 million PCs shipped and 25.9 percent market share, while Lenovo was third with 2.3 million PCs shipped and 15.4 percent market share.

IDC also released its own shipment estimates this afternoon, noting a similar decline in sales for Apple. According to IDC, Apple shipped 4.8 million Macs during the quarter, down from the aforementioned 5.4 million, a decline of 11.6 percent.

In IDC's rankings, Apple falls below Lenovo, HP, Dell, and Acer, coming in as the number five worldwide PC vendor. IDC's data also suggests an overall worldwide PC market decline of 0.9 percent rather than the 0.1 percent growth noted by Gartner.

Apple could see its Mac shipments jump back up during the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019 as there are multiple Mac updates that we're expecting towards the end of the year, perhaps as early as October.

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 said that Apple shipped 4.6 million Macs worldwide during the third quarter of 2017 when the actual number was significantly higher at 5.4 million.

Tags: IDC, Gartner

Top Rated Comments

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17 months ago

There is no excuse for the current line-up. It's a pile of crap.

Mac Mini hasn't been updated since 2014, and the 2014 version was weaker than the 2012 version.
iMac hasn't been updated in a while and doesn't have powerful graphics to power its 5K display and doesn't use the latest generation Intel chips.
The iMac Pro is $5000. Although it is fairly priced for what it is, it's obviously not going to move a lot of units.
The Mac Pro hasn't been updated since early 2014, and it's a literal trash can.

The MacBook Air hasn't been updated since 2014 and is woefully out of data.
The MacBook is an extremely underpowered machine that certainly is not worth the money. It's also got a terrible keyboard.
The MacBook Pro is alright, but it's very expensive and I don't like the keyboard.

So yeah, Apple deserves declining Mac sales. Give us something decent already, for ****s sake! We wanna use your OS but there is literally no useful hardware we can put it on. Come on!
Rating: 119 Votes
17 months ago
Nobody wants that annoying AF touchbar. It's literally a reason NOT to buy a Mac.

Also, how long can it take to design a new Mac Pro? It's been almost six years.
Rating: 95 Votes
17 months ago

I guess more businesses buy cheaper and uglier Windows 10 PC's lol

...that include all the ports they need out of the box.
Rating: 75 Votes
17 months ago
Lack of updates and higher prices.

Outdated equipment for a higher price tag.... no thanks!

This is Tim Cook’s Apple.

I work in the creative field and there’s even talk about some departments shifting to windows. Can’t believe it, but Apple has made their focus iPhones and iPads and watches.

“What’s a Computer” - Apple
Rating: 63 Votes
17 months ago
Am I the only one worried about no keynote in october?!
Rating: 47 Votes
17 months ago
The problem is recently when Apple has made updates, they've been downgrades for many of their core customers.

Their most powerful pro machine, the iMac Pro, is completely un-upgradeable.

The MacBook Pro has had a keyboard that after three revisions is still disliked, and the first two revisions are under class action law-suits. They moved to all-USB-C, and they can't move the industry like they did with the first iMac only having USB-A which caused the market to move toward USB because computers are now only one of many types of personal computers people use (the predominant type being smartphones). So it's not as critical that the market move to accommodate this and people are left in dongle-world. Plus, this computer to me does not seem like a pro-model. It seems more like the old Air was when it came out: very thin, svelte, but sort of impractical. The battery is glued to the top case and keyboard. You can't upgrade anything.

I have had three relatives buy a Mac in the last year—one just days ago. They all were insistent on sticking with the Mac. And all three bought MacBook Airs. Why? Even though the display is subpar, even though the chips are old, even though it's overpriced for what it is, it's the only Mac left with ports they use on a daily basis and has some key travel.

I would guess their least upgraded models are their best sellers. Who knows what will happen when they "upgrade" the MacBook Air. It might not actually be an upgrade.

I used to feel the same about Apple's software. I remember thinking there hadn't been an iWork update forever, and it finally came and I realized I should have been careful what I wished for.
Rating: 45 Votes
17 months ago

Decent? Are you kidding me? The MacBook(pick any) is still better than all the other windows laptops. Case closed my friend.

You don't like the keyboard? That's your problem. I think it's the best keyboard out there, trying going back to the old keyboard is like cutting the bread into slices again.

Come on now. That's not true, and you know it. Certainly not hardware wise. The only reason any of them can be considered better than Windows equivalents would be due to the software, which is a fair point I'll concede, but that doesn't make this any less frustrating and it certainly doesn't make it any less of a real issue.

Here are a bunch of stupid problems with the MacBook Pro in no particular order. Problems that really don't need to exist.
1) The keyboard really does not take well to dust, debris, or other small particles. Even the new version has problems.
2) The touch bar doesn't do anything useful and is not worth the extra cost. It's neat, I suppose, but it's not useful.
3) The price is very high because of the TB3 ports, the high-end CPU (which is massively throttled due to the thinness of the machine), and the touch bar. The only one of those 3 features that laptop actually makes decent use of is the TB3 ports, and even then it's just turned into a donglebook pro at this point.
4) The track pad is so huge that any failure of palm rejection makes the machine unusable.
5) The machine came out of the gate overheating and throttling to the point where it was near useless. Apple fixed this with an OS update, which is nice, but the MacBook Pro 2018 15" is still completely unusable for high-end workflows when running Windows or Linux. It just doesn't work.
6) Upgrading the parts via BtO makes you pay for the original component and the upgrade separately, but you don't get the original component. This fact combined with the low capacity SSD and low capacity RAM in the default config is pretty annoying.
7) It is impossible to upgrade the machine, making the up-front cost very high due to 6) and 3) coming together.
8) The machine is extremely difficult to repair - even for Apple. A broken keyboard means replacing the entire top case, the entire keyboard assembly, and the battery. A single broken RAM chip means you need to replace the entire motherboard. Apple charges absurd prices for this, making a broken MacBook Pro almost impossible to repair without breaking your bank, "forcing" you to buy a new one.

Now, all this crap could be forgiven in a cheap, disposable device like a midrange phone. Under no circumstances can they be forgiven in a ~$2700 laptop. No. ****ing. way. in. hell.

And the worst part is, that is currently Apple's best offer on the Mac side, which really puts into contrast how terrible their lineup is. They need to fix it.
Rating: 40 Votes
17 months ago
You reap what you sow. Or in this case, what you don't sow ('')...
Rating: 37 Votes
17 months ago

Lack of updates and higher prices.

Outdated equipment for a higher price tag.... no thanks!

This is Tim Cook’s Apple.

I work in the creative field and there’s even talk about some departments shifting to windows. Can’t believe it, but Apple has made their focus iPhones and iPads and watches.

“What’s a Computer” - Apple

In my creative field (motion graphics/animation/video production) so many people have made the jump to Windows. It’s not perfect but they’re so much more powerful and cost effective.
Rating: 34 Votes
17 months ago
to say Apple computers are overpriced and outdated is a major understatement...

it's embarrassing at this point... I don't think I've ever said "I'm good with my 3 yr old mac" in all my decades of owning Apple computers.
Rating: 30 Votes

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