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.

Gartner's Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q17 (Thousands of Units)

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.

Gartner's Preliminary U.S. Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q17 (Thousands of Units)

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.

Apple's Market Share Trend: 1Q06–3Q17 (Gartner)

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.

Tags: IDC, Gartner

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Nearly Half of All Smartwatches Shipped Last Quarter Were Apple Watches

Apple Watch was the world's most popular smartwatch by a significant margin last quarter, with an estimated 49.6 percent market share in the April-June period, according to data shared with MacRumors by research firm IDC.


In other words, the Apple Watch accounted for just under half of all smartwatches shipped in the June quarter.

IDC estimates Apple Watch shipments totaled 3.4 million units in the quarter, well ahead of runner-up Samsung's estimated 800,000 smartwatches shipped. Garmin trailed in third place with an estimated 600,000 shipments.

IDC: worldwide smartwatch shipments (units in millions)

Strategy Analytics estimated Apple Watch shipments totaled 2.8 million units last quarter, which is 600,000 lower, so there is clearly some discrepancy between the datasets. As it stands, only Apple knows exactly how many it's sold.

Apple doesn't break out Apple Watch sales like it does with iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Instead, it groups the wearable under its "Other Products" category, alongside Apple TV, AirPods, Beats, iPods, and other accessories.

Apple reported "Other Products" revenue of $2.7 billion in the June quarter, representing year-over-year growth of 23 percent.

On a conference call in early August, Apple CEO Tim Cook did reveal that Apple Watch sales were up 50 percent in the June quarter.
Sales of Apple Watch were up over 50 percent in the June quarter, and it's the number one selling smartwatch in the world by a very wide margin. Apple Watch is having a positive impact on peoples' health and daily lives, and motivating them to sit less and move more. With features like built-in GPS and waterproofing, Apple Watch Series 2 is the perfect companion for hiking, running, and swimming.
Quarterly smartwatch shipments totaled an estimated 6.9 million units overall, including 300,000 shipments by Fossil. IDC said it defines smartwatches as watches that can run third-party apps on the device itself.

IDC reports that Apple trailed Chinese company Xiaomi by 100,000 shipments in the overall wearables market, but the broader category consists of many inexpensive fitness trackers and bands with limited functionality.

"The transition towards more intelligent and feature-filled wearables is in full swing," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC. "For years, rudimentary fitness trackers have acted as a gateway to smartwatches and now we're at a point where brands and consumers are graduating to a more sophisticated device."

Read More: Basic Trackers Take a Back Seat as Smartwatches Accelerate in the Second Quarter, According to IDC

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 3, watchOS 4
Tag: IDC
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Apple’s Mac Sales Stagnant in Q2 2017 Amid Continuing Worldwide PC Market Decline

Apple's Mac sales remained stagnant in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the year-ago quarter, according to new PC shipping estimates shared today by Gartner.

During the quarter, Apple shipped an estimated 4.24 million Macs worldwide, down from 4.26 million in the second quarter of 2016, for an estimated decline in growth of -0.4 percent. While sales were down slightly, market share was up. Apple held 6.9 percent of the market during the quarter, up from 6.7 percent a year ago. Apple is estimated to be the number four PC vendor in the world, edging out Asus, the company that held that position this time last year.

HP and Dell, the number one and number three worldwide PC vendors, respectively, saw shipment growth during the quarter. HP shipped an estimated 12.7 million PCs for 10.8 percent of the market (3.3 percent growth) while Dell shipped an estimated 9.6 million PCs for 15.6 percent of the market (1.4 percent growth). Lenovo, once the number one worldwide PC vendor, is now in second place after sales dropped from 13.3 million in Q2 2016 to 12.2 million in Q2 2017. Lenovo now holds 19.9 percent of the market and saw a -8.4 percent dip in growth.


Asus and Acer, the number five and six worldwide PC vendors, also saw PC sales fall significantly. Asus shipped 4 million PCs during the quarter, down from 4.5 million for -10.3 percent growth, while Acer shipped 3.9 million, down from 4.4 million for -12.5 percent growth.

According to Gartner, overall worldwide PC shipments totaled 61.1 million units in Q2 2017, a 4.3 percent decline compared to Q2 2016.
"Higher PC prices due to the impact of component shortages for DRAM, solid state drives (SSDs) and LCD panels had a pronounced negative impact on PC demand in the second quarter of 2017," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner "The approach to higher component costs varied by vendor. Some decided to absorb the component price hike without raising the final price of their devices, while other vendors transferred the costs to the end-user price."
In the United States, PC shipments totaled 14 million units during the second quarter of 2017, a 5.7 percent decline compared to the second quarter of 2016. Apple is the number four PC vendor in the United States, shipping an estimated 1.7 million Macs (for 11.8 percent market share), a significant decline from the 1.83 million Macs shipped in the second quarter of 2016.


Apple's U.S. sales dropped 9.6 percent from Q2 2016 to Q2 2017, with Lenovo and Asus also seeing sharp dips. Lenovo's sales were down 16.3 percent (1.9 million PCs shipped vs. 2.2 million in Q2 2016), while Asus's sales were down 40.7 percent (447K PCs shipped vs. 754K in Q2 2016).

IDC also released its PC market shipment estimates today, and its numbers are a bit rosier. IDC estimates Apple shipped 4.3 million Macs during the quarter, up from 4.26 million for a small 1.7 percent growth. According to IDC, worldwide PC shipments totaled 60.5 million units, a decline of 3.3 percent. Like Gartner, IDC estimates Apple is the number four worldwide PC vendor, behind HP, Lenovo, and Dell, but above Asus and Acer.

It's important to note that data from Gartner and IDC is preliminary and that the numbers can shift, sometimes dramatically and sometimes less so. Last year, for example, Gartner estimated Mac shipments of 4.56 million in the second quarter of 2016, but the actual number was 4.26 million.

Apple recently refreshed much of its Mac notebook lineup and its iMacs, so it could see some growth in the coming quarter as customers purchase the new machines.

Tags: IDC, Gartner

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AR/VR Headset Shipments Forecast to Hit 100 Million Units By 2021, Buoyed By Apple, Microsoft, and Others

Earlier this month at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple revealed its first big push into the augmented reality and virtual reality spaces, with a new ARKit developer framework and high-performance iMacs with native support for VR content creation.

On Monday, research firm IDC published new data forecasting significant growth in both markets, with dedicated AR and VR headset adoption expected to increase from just under 10 million units last year to 100 million units in 2021.


VR headsets account for much of the device volume so far, with VR headsets powered by a smartphone proving the most popular, according to IDC. The second half of 2016 also saw an increase in volume of Sony PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Facebook's Oculus Rift.
"The next six to 18 months will further stimulate the VR market as PC vendors, along with Microsoft, introduce tethered headsets and high-end standalone VR headsets also enter the market," said Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. "With lower hardware requirements on the PC and lower prices on headsets, VR will be more accessible than ever before. And the introduction of additional motion tracking and hand tracking will help further blur the line between digital and physical reality."
Although IDC believes VR headsets will continue to dominate the market in terms of volume for the foreseeable future, the firm believes AR will have a much bigger impact on the industry as a whole, in part thanks to Apple's recent entry onto the scene.
In terms of dedicated devices, AR continues to sit slightly in the background of VR. The reason for this is not that AR is less important, but rather it is harder to achieve. IDC believes VR headsets will continue to lead in terms of volume throughout the forecast, but maintains that AR in general will have a much bigger impact overall on the industry. Consumers are very likely to have their first AR experience via a mobile phone or tablet rather than a dedicated headset, and Apple's recent introduction of ARKit further supports this.
IDC believes AR headsets will become increasingly popular in markets such as healthcare, manufacturing, field service workers, and design, with commercial shipments to account for just over 80 percent of all AR headsets shipped in the next 5 years. "We believe that many industrial jobs will fundamentally change because of AR in the next 5-years," said Ryan Reith, IDC program vice president. "These are much more opportunistic markets for dedicated AR headsets than the consumer market."

Mobile app developers have been sharing early creations using Apple's new ARKit, suggesting huge enthusiasm for the possibilities for AR on iOS devices. As for VR, Apple's enthusiasm was clear during its WWDC keynote, with the company showing off the power of its new iMacs through a live demo of VR content creation using a HTC Vive, made possible via a new Metal 2 developer kit that has provisions for external GPUs and VR headsets.

Related Roundup: Apple VR Project
Tags: IDC, ARKit

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Apple Sold Fewer iPads Year Over Year for 13th Straight Quarter as Tablet Market Shrinks to Five-Year Low

The worldwide tablet market declined for a tenth straight quarter on a year-over-year basis last quarter, according to IDC. The market research firm estimates tablet shipments totaled only 36.2 million in the first quarter, the fewest since the third quarter of 2012, establishing a nearly five year low.


While the iPad remains the world's most popular tablet, it has been no exception. Earlier this week, Apple reported that it sold 8.9 million iPads in the quarter, down from 10.2 million iPads in the year-ago quarter, marking the 13th consecutive quarter that it has sold fewer iPads on a year-over-year unit basis.

"Apple's results show that it is not immune to the changing dynamics of industry and consumer demand, part of which is due to the ongoing success of its other product lines," said IDC in a press release today.

Despite costlier iPad Pro models driving up prices, which helped Apple end a nine-quarter slide in iPad revenue less than a year ago, the company's tablet revenue has turned to the negative again. Apple reported earnings of $3.8 billion from iPads last quarter, down from $4.4 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Following tremendous growth in the tablet market in the first three years after the original iPad launched in 2010, IDC believes that consumers have become less eager to upgrade their tablets, more dependant on smartphones, and increasingly disinterested in purchasing tablets altogether.
"The rate at which the tablet market grew from 2010 to 2013 was unlike many other consumer-oriented device markets we've seen before," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC. "However, it appears for many reasons consumers became less eager to refresh these devices, or in some instances purchase them at all. We continue to believe the leading driver for this was the increased dependency on smartphones, along with rather minimal technology and form factor progression."
Apple recorded an estimated 24.5 percent share of the worldwide tablet market in the first quarter, meaning that nearly one in every four tablets sold during the first three months of the year was an iPad. Samsung trailed in second with an estimated 6 million shipments for 16.5 percent market share.


Chinese company Huawei was the only tablet maker to experience growth in the quarter, shipping an estimated 2.7 million tablets, up 31.7 percent from a year ago. Amazon and Lenovo rounded off the top five vendors with an estimated 2.2 million and 2.1 million tablet shipments respectively in the quarter.

Beyond the iPad sales numbers, which are official, it's important to acknowledge that these are estimated figures, and shipments within distribution channels do not necessarily reflect sales to customers.

Tag: IDC

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Huawei Continues to Catch Apple, But Still Fighting to Gain Popularity in United States

Huawei, the world's third-largest smartphone maker, continued to gain on Apple in the first three months of the year, with an impressive 21.7 percent growth, according to market research firm IDC.


Huawei shipped an estimated 34.2 million smartphones worldwide in the first quarter, capturing 9.8 percent market share, based on data from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. That's up from an estimated 28.1 million smartphones it shipped in the year-ago quarter.

By comparison, Apple shipped an estimated 51.6 million iPhones in the quarter for 14.9 percent market share. Apple essentially saw no smartphone growth in the quarter as the market remains highly saturated, and due to seasonality factors as consumers anticipate a widely rumored trio of new iPhone models.


Huawei has previously outlined its ambitions to dethrone Samsung as the world's largest smartphone maker within the next four years, a tall task that would require leapfrogging Apple in the process.

"We want to grow into top two market share, and, in the future, top one by 2021," Huawei's consumer head Richard Yu said in February.

Huawei's biggest problem is that it still lacks considerable brand awareness in the western world. In the United States, it does not even crack the list of the top ten most popular smartphone brands, largely because it lacks agreements with the country's biggest carriers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

American customers have to resort to retailers such as Best Buy or Walmart, or Huawei's direct sales website, to purchase one of their unlocked devices, reducing the brand's visibility in the country.

Huawei has yet to reveal any larger plans for the United States, but in Canada, the company will begin selling its flagship P10 and P10 Plus smartphones through nationwide carriers Rogers and Bell starting in early June. Huawei has also been pushing its brand in Canada during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

If Huawei can find success in Canada, then perhaps it will consider tackling the much larger U.S. market next.

Tags: IDC, Huawei

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Worldwide Mac Sales Up Slightly as PC Market Continues to Decline in Q1 2017

Amid a continuing decline in worldwide PC shipments, Apple's Mac sales are up slightly, according to new PC shipping estimates shared today by Gartner.

During the first quarter of 2017, Apple shipped an estimated 4.2 million Macs worldwide, up from 4 million in the year-ago quarter for an estimated growth of 4.5 percent. During the quarter, Apple held 6.8 percent of the market, up from 6.3 percent during the first quarter of 2016, allowing the company to hold on to its position as the number five PC vendor in the world.

Lenovo, HP, and Dell, the top three worldwide PC vendors, saw shipment growth during the quarter. Lenovo shipped an estimated 12.4 million PCs for 20 percent of the market (1.2 percent growth), HP shipped an estimated 12.1 million PCs for 19.5 percent of the market (6.5 percent growth), and Dell shipped 9.4 million PCs for an estimated 15 percent of the market (3.4 percent growth).


Asus, the number four PC vendor in the world, saw a sharp decline in growth, shipping only an estimated 4.5 million PCs compared to 5.3 million during the first quarter of 2016. Acer and the "Other" group composed of smaller manufacturers also saw declines.

According to Gartner, overall worldwide PC shipments totaled 62.2 million units, a 2.4 decline compared to the first quarter of 2016.
"While the consumer market will continue to shrink, maintaining a strong position in the business market will be critical to keep sustainable growth in the PC market. Winners in the business segment will ultimately be the survivors in this shrinking market," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "Vendors who do not have a strong presence in the business market will encounter major problems, and they will be forced to exit the PC market in the next five years. However, there will also be specialized niche players with purpose-built PCs, such as gaming PCs and ruggedized laptops."

"The top three vendors -- Lenovo, HP and Dell -- will battle for the large-enterprise segment. The market has extremely limited opportunities for vendors below the top three, with the exception of Apple, which has a solid customer base in specific verticals."
In the United States, PC shipments totaled 12.3 million units in 1Q 2017, also a 2.4 percent decline compared to 1Q 2016. Apple is the number four PC vendor in the United States, shipping an estimated 1.47 million Macs (for 12 percent market share), a slight decline from the 1.48 million Macs shipped in the first quarter of 2016.


While HP saw 16 percent growth in the United States with an estimated 3.6 million shipments, shipments were down for Dell (3.2M), Lenovo (1.7M), and Asus (503,000).

IDC also released its PC market shipment estimates today, and as per usual, its numbers tell a different story, in part because of the difference in the way tablets are counted by each firm.

According to IDC, the PC market saw its first growth in five years, with worldwide shipments totaling 60.3 million in the first quarter of 2017 for year-over-year growth of 0.6 percent. IDC's estimates for Apple are similar to Gartner's, with IDC suggesting worldwide Mac shipments of 4.2 million units, up from 4 million in the year-ago quarter for 4.1 percent growth.

It's important to note that data from Gartner and IDC is preliminary and that the numbers can shift, sometimes dramatically and sometimes less so. Last year, for example, Gartner estimated Mac shipments of 4.6 million in the first quarter of 2016, but the actual number was just over 4 million.

Tags: IDC, Gartner

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Apple Watch’s Record-Breaking Quarter Was Opposite One of Fitbit’s ‘Largest Declines Ever’

Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 have proven to be a "magnificent success" for Apple, which recorded its "best quarter ever" in the wearables market, according to the latest data from research firm IDC.

Fourth quarter shipments reflected in millions (Source: IDC)

Apple shipped an estimated 4.6 million Apple Watch units in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from an estimated 4.1 million in the year-ago quarter, according to IDC. Its share of the wearables market, which includes basic fitness trackers, was an estimated 13.6%, down slightly from 14.1% in the year-ago quarter.

Apple closed the gap with wearables market leader Fitbit, which experienced one of its "largest declines ever" in the fourth quarter. Fitbit shipped an estimated 6.5 million fitness trackers in the quarter, down from 8.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Fitbit's market share dropped from 29% to 19.2%, said IDC.

Apple has been heavily marketing the Apple Watch's fitness capabilities as of late, rather than positioning it as a fashion accessory, and this shift in focus has allowed it to grow its presence in the wearables market, according to IDC:
Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 proved to be a magnificent success for the company as it was the company's best quarter ever in the wearables market. The lower entry price point and the inclusion of GPS on the Series 2 along with a completely revamped user interface have helped the company grow its presence. Apple is one of the few companies that has been able to quickly refocus its watch to gain traction in the consumer market and has also been leading the charge on introducing the smartwatch category to the commercial segment.
Xiaomi finished second, between Fitbit and Apple, as its Mi Bands are priced well below most competing wearables, allowing the Chinese company to capture 15.2% market share based on an estimated 5.2 million shipments in the quarter. Xiaomi's market share rose considerably from 9.1% in the year-ago quarter.

Annual shipments reflected in millions (Source: IDC)

Samsung was the fifth largest wearables vendor in the fourth quarter with an estimated 1.9 million shipments and 5.6% market share.

IDC estimates that Apple Watch shipments totaled 10.7 million in 2016 for an estimated 10.5% market share, down from an estimated 11.6 million shipments and 14.2% market share in 2015. The annual data has the same top five rankings as the quarterly data: Fitbit, Xiaomi, Apple, Garmin, and Samsung.

It is important to acknowledge that these are estimated figures, and that shipments do not necessarily reflect sales.

Apple does not officially disclose Apple Watch sales, instead grouping the device under its "Other Products" category in earnings results.

Apple only elected to share that the Apple Watch set all time sales records during the first quarter of its 2017 fiscal year, with CEO Tim Cook noting holiday demand was "so strong" that Apple "couldn't make enough."

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Tags: IDC, Fitbit
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Tim Cook Says ‘Exciting Things’ Coming to iPad as Tablet Sales Continue to Drop

While the iPhone 7 Plus helped Apple achieve record-breaking earnings results last quarter, iPad sales remained on a downward trend.


Apple earlier this week reported that it sold 13.1 million iPads in the first quarter, which encompasses the holiday shopping season, down from 16.1 million in the year-ago quarter. As noted by Jason Snell at Six Colors, that's nearly half as many iPads as the 26 million that Apple sold during the same period in 2013.

Apple isn't the only tablet maker suffering from declining sales. The overall category continued to shrink by between 9% and 20% worldwide compared to the same quarter a year ago, placing pressure on Samsung and other vendors, according to the latest estimates from research firms IDC and Strategy Analytics.


Price remains a "key sticking point" for consumers looking to adopt high-end tablets such as the iPad Pro, which has created room for smaller vendors to capitalize on low-priced tablets, according to Strategy Analytics. Lenovo, for example, shipped an estimated 4.2 million tablets and grew 21% year-over-year in the quarter.

"2-in-1 tablets are a hot market segment but price remains a key factor in consumer behaviors around PC and tablet replacement devices, which is evident in lower shipments of iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4 devices in the quarter," said Eric Smith, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics.

IDC said the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini, rather than the iPad Pro lineup, continued to account for the majority of Apple's tablet shipments. For every ten slate tablets shipped, Apple sold only one iPad Pro, the research firm said. Apple does not officially break out iPad sales on a model-by-model basis.

Apple said it underestimated holiday demand for the iPad quarter, and that compounded a supply issue with one of its suppliers. Apple also drew down channel inventory by 700,000 units, so its results are not as bad as they look. Last year, Apple increased channel inventory by 900,000 units as the iPad Pro launched.

Apple also said the iPad has an 85% share of the U.S. tablet market priced above $200, so the tablet is doing exceptionally well in the premium segment that the company has targeted. iPad also undoubtedly remains the world's best-selling tablet, with a comfortable lead over its rivals, based on industry estimates.

Samsung was Apple's closest competitor with an estimated 8.1 million tablets shipped in the quarter for 12.8% market share, according to Strategy Analytics. Lenovo, Huawei, and Amazon rounded off the top five with an estimated 4.2 million, 3.7 million, and 3.4 million shipments in the quarter respectively.


As always, it is important to acknowledge that these are estimated figures, and that shipments do not necessarily reflect sales. There are also significant discrepancies between the IDC and Strategy Analytics datasets—particularly as it relates to Amazon—so treat the numbers with a proverbial grain of salt.

Apple has effectively marketed the iPad Pro as a computer in the post-PC world, but the company's second annual decline in iPad sales led Apple podcaster Marco Arment to raise an interesting question: what if the iPad isn't the future of computing?
What if, like so much in technology, it’s mostly just additive, rather than largely replacing PCs and Macs, and furthermore had a cooling-fad effect as initial enthusiasm wore off and customers came to this conclusion?
One thing is for certain: consumers are not upgrading their tablets nearly as often as smartphones. In order to reignite iPad sales, Apple will have to add compelling new features that entice the large base of existing iPad owners to swap out their current "good enough" tablet for a new one.

"We've got some exciting things coming on iPad and I'm optimistic about where things are headed," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "Customer satisfaction is through the roof. iPad Pro at 99%. So I see a lot of good things and hope for better results."


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Worldwide Mac Sales Remain Steady in 4Q 2016 Amid Continuing PC Market Decline

Amid an ongoing decline in worldwide PC shipments, Apple's Mac sales are holding steady, according to new PC shipping estimates shared today by Gartner.

During the fourth quarter of 2016, Apple shipped an estimated 5.4 million Macs worldwide, up from 5.3 million in the year-ago quarter for an estimated growth of 2.4 percent. During the quarter, Apple held 7.5 percent of the market, up from 7 percent during the fourth quarter of 2015, making it the number five PC vendor in the world.

Lenovo, HP, and Dell, the top three vendors, all saw growth during the quarter as well. Dell, which holds 14.8 percent of the market, saw 5.4 percent growth, while HP, responsible for 20.4 percent of the market, saw 4.3 percent growth. Lenovo, the number one PC vendor with 21.7 percent of the market, saw 1.6 percent growth and shipped 15.9 million PCs, up from 15.5 in the year-ago quarter.

gartner_4q16_global
Gartner's Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q16 (Thousands of Units)

Asus (number 4 vendor) and Acer Group (number 6 vendor) both saw declines in growth, with Asus shipping 5.4 million PCs (down from 6 million in 4Q 2015) and Acer shipping 5 million PCs (down from 5.2 million in 4Q 2015).

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 72.6 million units during the fourth quarter of 2016, a 3.7 percent decline compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. For the full year, PC shipments totaled 269.7 million, a 6.2 drop from 2015. Apple is estimated to have shipped a total of 18.6 million Macs in 2016, down from 20.3 million in 2015.
"Stagnation in the PC market continued into the fourth quarter of 2016 as holiday sales were generally weak due to the fundamental change in PC buying behavior," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "The broad PC market has been static as technology improvements have not been sufficient to drive real market growth.

There have been innovative form factors like 2-in-1s and thin and light notebooks, as well as technology improvements, such as longer battery life. This end of the market has grown fast, led by engaged PC users who put high priority on PCs. However, the market driven by PC enthusiasts is not big enough to drive overall market growth."
Apple's worldwide numbers held steady, but saw better growth in the United States. According to Gartner's data, Apple shipped an estimated 2.1 million PCs in the United States for 12.8 percent of the market. That's up from 2 million shipments (and 11.8 percent market share) in the year-ago quarter.

gartner_4q16_us
Gartner's Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q16 (Thousands of Units)

HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Acer all saw growth in the United States, but Asus saw a sharp dip, shipping only 621,000 PCs, down from 1.2 million in 4Q 2015. Overall PC shipments in the U.S. totaled 16.5 million units, a 1.3 percent decline compared to last year.

gartner_4q16_us_trend
Apple's U.S. Market Share Trend: 1Q06-4Q16 (Gartner)

IDC also released its shipment estimates today, and as expected, its numbers tell a different story, in part because of the difference in the way Windows-based tablets are counted by each firm.

According to IDC, worldwide PC shipments totaled 70.2 million units during 4Q 2016, with Apple shipping an estimated 5.26 million Macs, down from 5.3 million in 4Q 2015 for -0.9 percent growth and 7.4 percent market share (up from 7.3 percent last year). Similar to Gartner, IDC believes Apple shipped a total of 18.5 million Macs in 2016, down from 20.5 million in 2015, for an overall decline in growth of 9.8 percent.

It's important to note that data from Gartner and IDC is preliminary and that the numbers can shift, sometimes dramatically and sometimes less so. Last year, for example, IDC and Gartner predicted worldwide 4Q 2015 shipments of 5.7 million Macs, while the actual number was 5.3 million.

We'll know more about Apple's 2016 performance and how well its new MacBook Pros have been selling following the company's next earnings release on January 31.

Tags: IDC, Gartner

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