Apple grabs 6.6% market share of U.S. personal computer retail market through August

“Apple Computer reports fourth-quarter earnings later Tuesday, but it’s what the company says on Wednesday that may grab investors’ attention this week,” Troy Wolverton reports for TheStreet.com. “Apple has scheduled a press event Wednesday where analysts expect CEO Steve Jobs to unveil a new, video-enabled iPod music player. The move would mark a significant evolution for the iPod, which has rapidly become one of Apple’s most important products.”

Wolverton reports, “The focus on Wednesday is emblematic of investor attitudes toward the stock. The general assumption is that the company is doing well, but that notion is dwarfed by the anticipation of — or even concern about — what comes next. It’s not so much ‘What have you done for me lately?’ but ‘What will you do for me later?'”

“Wall Street is betting that Apple was on track with that growth in its fourth quarter, which ended last month. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call are expecting the company to post earnings of 37 cents a share for the quarter on $3.73 billion in sales,” Wolverton reports. “That projection is ahead of the company’s own estimates and would mark a big gain over last year’s results… But Wall Street has reason to be bullish. Apple has consistently delivered better-than-expected results in quarters of late. And recent data bode well for the just-completed one; studies indicate that Apple is gaining share in markets for PCs and digital-music players.”

“Through August, Apple’s share of the U.S. retail market for computers, excluding online sales, grew to 6.6% from 4.3% in the same period last year, according to market researcher NPD Group,” Wolverton reports. “And even without taking into account sales of the newly introduced iPod nano, Apple’s share of the U.S. retail market for digital-music players edged upward in recent months to 74%.”

Full article here.
Keep in mind that excluding online sales also excludes Dell. Note that it also excludes Apple’s online sales. The important fact is that NPD’s measure of Apple’s share was 4.3% in the year ago period and it has grown to 6.6% in a year.

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26 Comments

  1. What does that mean ‘excluding online sales’? Isn’t that sort of like stating that the average temperature of the Earth is 20K, excluding the radiation of the sun? It may technically be true, but what the hell connection does it have to practical reality?

  2. 6.6% of retail (non-online) sales.

    How many computers does Dell sell from mall kiosks compared to corporate leases, direct phone sales, and their website? what about Apple for that matter?

    This statistic is of minimal use because it excludes a major, if not the most common, way of buying a computer!

    MDN word: areas

  3. Yeah, let’s wait and see what IDC’s numbers show when they’re released sometime within the next week or so. They were at 4.5% for Q2, if Apple breaks 5% in Q3, then we’ll really have a big story here…

  4. Off topic, but I had to tell someone… I know what the announcement is tomorrow…

    At last, a G5 laptop. Its a waterproof floating powerbook you can use in the bath. In fact, to deal with the cooling issues, you can ONLY use it in the bath. The great part is that it keeps the water nice and warm. The red curtains will go back and Steve will be there in a tub, splashing around with the new machine a rubber duck.

    “One more thing… can someone scrub my back?”

    For the system alert, instead of the bubble sound, it will simply blow a real one, then look embarrassed.

    Or… maybe its an apple branded golden staue of SJ that grants all your tech wishes, marketed under the name “iGod” ?

  5. < This statistic is of minimal use because it excludes a major, if not the most common, way of buying a computer! >

    Perhaps, perhaps not. Note that using the same metric, Apple’s share was 4.3% LAST YEAR. As we all know, Apple didn’t exceed 4% until later.

    What this means is that, again using the same metric, Apple share grew substantially. Now anybody that follows Apple’s 10Qs (I do) could have told you the same thing. Its just nice to see someone else, using a different research method, provide confirmation.

    All that said, the number that matters, is the one provided by IDC, when they compare manufacturer shipment reports. That one will come out about a week after earnings (hopefully before options expiry).

  6. Yeah, if you extrapolate that figure to Apple’s overall market share (which most recently was 4.5%, wasn’t it?) then it’s encouraging.

    I hope they can crack 5% of worldwide sales and keep growing.

  7. While I think we all agree this is not informative for actual marketshare, one thing it is consistent with is the iPod halo effect. That’s not to say that all of the bump is due to that (we know that Apple has opened more stores, so that could be part of it), but I suspect that millions have walked into Apple stores to buy the iPod and got acquainted with the Mac and OSX.

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