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 3Q18 global

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.

gartner 3Q18 trend

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 3Q18 us

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: Gartner, IDC

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Top Rated Comments

Ishayu Avatar
74 months ago
Good.

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!
Score: 119 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alexe Avatar
74 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.
Score: 95 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aylk Avatar
74 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.
Score: 75 Votes (Like | Disagree)
magicschoolbus Avatar
74 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
Score: 63 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SoApple Avatar
74 months ago
Am I the only one worried about no keynote in october?!
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
swingerofbirch Avatar
74 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.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)