Research Firms Paint Contrasting Pictures of Apple's Mac Shipments in Q2 2019
Prominent research firms Gartner and IDC attempt to estimate shipments of computers around the world on a quarterly basis, and both firms today released their estimates for the second calendar quarter.
Gartner's and IDC's estimates are just that — estimates – and with Apple no longer reporting unit sales of Macs and other products, we won't know how accurate these estimates end up being. But as revealed in today's releases, they can differ quite a bit.
Gartner says worldwide PC shipments were up 1.5 percent year-over-year, with Lenovo leading the way on strong growth and HP and Dell sitting in second and third places respectively. Apple registered in fourth place with an estimated 3.711 million Macs shipped, a 0.2 percent decline over the previous year, while Acer and Asus rounded out the top vendors on a global basis.
“Worldwide PC shipments growth was driven by demand from the Windows 10 refresh in the business market in the second quarter of 2019. Desktop PC growth was strong, which offset a decline in mobile PC shipments,” said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner.
“Additionally, there are signs that the Intel CPU shortage is easing, which has been an ongoing impact to the market for the past 18 months. The shortage mainly impacted small and midsize vendors as large vendors took advantage and continued to grow, taking market share away from the smaller vendors that struggled to secure CPUs.”
Turning to the U.S., the overall market saw a slight 0.4 percent decline compared to the second quarter of 2018, but Apple's shipments dropped by an estimated 5.6 percent to 1.585 million. Apple maintained its fourth-place ranking in the U.S. behind HP, Dell, and Lenovo, and well ahead of Microsoft and Acer.
If accurate, Gartner's estimates would put Apple with its lowest share of the U.S. PC market since the first quarter of 2014 and the lowest recorded on a global basis since Gartner started including Apple as a top global vendor in the third quarter of 2014.
IDC's estimates paint a much different picture, however, projecting worldwide PC shipment growth of 4.7 percent compared to the second quarter of 2018. IDC pegs Apple as having shipped 4.011 million Macs in the quarter for nearly 10 percent year-over-year growth.
IDC says Apple benefited from increased inventory levels due not only to the launch of new MacBook Pro models but also some proactive shipments into the distribution channels to guard against potential upcoming tariffs.