DisplaySearch reports 2006 final notebook market share: Apple 4.1%

Apple StoreDisplaySearch has reported in its Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report that the notebook PC market grew 27.7% Y/Y to 78.802 million units. At the DisplaySearch US Flat Panel Display Conference in March 2006, John Jacobs, Director of Notebook PC Market Research, forecast that the notebook PC market would grow to 77.943 million units. The actual notebook PC shipment number was just 1.1% higher than the early 2006 forecast, for an accuracy of 98.9%.

In Q4’06, on the strength of unit shipments that surged more than 29% Q/Q, HP once again took the top spot in the notebook PC market with shipments of just under 4.7 million units to capture 20% share of the notebook PC market. The quarter was less kind to Dell, which trailed HP, but perhaps more importantly lost share as unit shipments fell slightly from Q3’06 to Q4’06, despite a notebook PC market that grew more than 14.4% Q/Q.

The other big winner in Q4’06 was Acer, which, like HP, saw notebook PC shipments swell 29% quarter to 3.1 million units, surpassing the 3 million mark for the first time. Acer’s growth narrowed the distance between it and Dell to less than half a million units. Acer’s substantial growth increased its lead over #4 Toshiba, which shipped 2.3 million notebooks in the quarter.

Lenovo also had a strong fourth quarter, shipping slightly less than 2 million notebooks. Similar to HP and Acer, Lenovo also beat the average quarter/quarter growth rate for the notebook market with 18.2% Q/Q growth.

MacDailyNews Note: When contacted by MacDailyNews, Carolyn Lowe, DisplaySearch’s Director of Marketing, shed additional light on the chart above, “Apple went from 1.036M (rounded to 1M) down to 969K (also rounded to 1M) – that’s a 6.5% (rounded to 7%) decline.” Note: that’s calendar Q3 06 vs. Q4 06, not year-over-year. In calendar Q3 05 Apple sold 634K portables, so year-over-year calendar Q3 05 vs. Q3 06 showed an increase of 56%. Apple’s 969K notebook units for calendar Q4 06 were a 65% increase year-over-year vs. 587K units for calendar Q4 05.

While HP led on a worldwide basis, on a regional level, HP held the top spot in APAC and Latin America, as well as EMEA, which it took from Acer in Q4’06. Dell held on to its lead over HP in North America; however its share advantage fell from over 6% in Q3’06 to a 4% lead in Q4’06.

Sony (40.6%), HP (29.4%), Acer (29.0%) and Lenovo (18.2%) all easily surpassed the average Q/Q growth rate for the notebook PC market. By contrast, Toshiba’s gains lagged the market, and Apple, Dell, and Fujitsu/Fujitsu-Siemens were all down Q/Q.

DisplaySearch analysis indicates that the varying degrees of success in Q4’06 between brands are a function of different target markets for each brand. “With an increasing number of PC buyers choosing notebooks for their first PC, and existing PC owners upgrading to notebooks from desktop PCs, a strong retail strategy is critical for success. Indicators of aggressive retail strategies for notebook PCs could easily be seen in the quantity and variety of Black Friday advertisements for notebook PCs in 2006 compared to 2005,” said John Jacobs, Director of Notebook Market Research at DisplaySearch. “Brands that had the most success in 2006 also had a wide range of product offerings during the holiday season, from entry-level to top-of-the-line systems, and often bundled these systems with printers and occasionally flat panel monitors.”

Brands that were hungry for market share were quick to drop the street price premium, even running “free upgrade” promotions encouraging customers to make the transition. Additionally, brands with a heavier reliance on the enterprise market faced the additional hurdle of convincing IT managers to embrace wide products and support additional configurations.

Looking a year ahead to Q4’07, DisplaySearch expects the notebook PC market to continue to surge, growing to almost 97 million units.

Additional details from Q4’06 as well as forecasts by size and resolution are in DisplaySearch’s Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report here.

Related articles:
NPD: Apple #5 in notebooks, #1 in online songs unit share – March 13, 2007
NPD: Mac sales grew 108% in January – March 01, 2007
Net Applications: Apple’s Mac market share continues rise, hits 6.38% in February 2007 – March 01, 2007
Net Applications: Apple’s Mac market share continues rise, hits 6.22% in January 2007 – February 01, 2007
Gartner: Apple’s U.S. Mac shipments up 30.6% year over year – January 18, 2007
Net Applications: Apple’s Mac market share continues rise, now at 5.39%, up 31% year-over-year – December 01, 2006
Apple’s Mac market share surges, up 35-percent year-over-year as growth accelerates – November 01, 2006
Analyst: Apple has ‘real shot at dramatically expanding Macintosh market share’ – October 31, 2006
Analyst: Apple Mac gains market share, the reason why is significant – October 26, 2006
IDC: Apple Mac attained 5.8% of U.S. market share in Q3 06 – October 18, 2006
Gartner: Apple Mac grabbed 6.1% of U.S. market share in Q3 06 – October 18, 2006
Gartner: Apple Mac grabbed 4.6% U.S. market share in Q2 06 – July 19, 2006
IDC: Apple Mac attained 4.8% U.S. market share in Q2 06 – July 19, 2006


  1. Just watched the Gadget show on channel 5 (UK) Showdown between a MacBook and a Sony Viao (Voia, Veiou) with vista. The result . . . the Mac crapped on vista, freakin’ marvelous. Vistas true colours showing through again, couldn’t build a movie.

  2. Didn’t Jobs claim 12% market share for Apple notebooks last July? Guess that’s US market share.

    Yeah, that was US-only for a single quarter. I still reckon the US share is a lot more than 4%.

    4.1% ain’t bad when you consider it’s nearly double Apple’s overall global market share.

  3. Mugwump said: Time to lower the price — a MacBook for under $1K.

    There’s an entire swticher market that’s looking at that price point.

    Falkirk: I respectfully disagree with Mugwump. While it may seem advantageous to lower price in order to gain increased market share, in point of fact it is “wallet” share, rather than market shar that matters.

    In other words, Macs are a premium product. They are the Lexus of their field and do not compete with Yugos.

    There are excellent articles explaining this on Roughly Drafted. I’ve enclosed a link to one such article. Highly reccomended reading.


  4. @ occam’s razor

    Too bad you couldnt have the foresight enough to have been able known they were gonna do that head to head… at least
    so you would have been able to record it, and then post it somewhere where we all could enjoy it too !

    I, for one, would love to see something like that !

  5. Pathetic. After all these years (post OSX & iPod halo factor) and hype Apple market share is shameful.
    Folks, it is never going to happen Apple getting into double digits for market share.
    (And desktop sales went down even more!)

  6. Why does BMW get to be content with a micro-fraction of the worldwide car market, but Apple should slit its wrists unless it can sell more computers than Dell? The whole numbers game is ridiculous.

  7. Interesting results to some extent

    I would be interested in two other breakdowns as well

    1) Knowing what quantities and percentages were sub-compact notebooks (a market Apple does not as of yet compete in)

    2) Knowing what quantities and percentages were priced greater than 600 Euro/$800 USD or the equivalent Yen/Yuan… etc. (as this is the market Apple competes in sans sub-compact)

    The measurements without this knowledge are equivalent to the worldwide market share of 2 wheel motorized vehicles – which include motorcycles, power assisted bikes, Segways, off-road bikes, scooters not allowed on freeways as well as many vehicles not allowed outside of third world countries (FYI for very good reasons – sort of like a cheapo laptops should be… a modern OS like Tiger/Leopard/Vista is analogous to pulling a reasonably weighty boat trailer on a vehicle in many respects – i.e. forget the Yugo for real world performance – it can’t do what users need – and they need to know that it’s time to look for a much heavier duty vehicle).

    My feel for the real numbers tells me when Apple’s sales are genuinely compared with legitimately competing PCs at the actual point of purchase – the share of Apple sales is substantially more than described in this article – potentially even greater than the 12% figure Jobs spoke of.

    That said – it absolutely does need to rise even more – and a sequential drop in the calendar year 4th quarter is not easily stomached. There is no question that a group of folks at One Infinity Loop dropped the ball somehow in not getting the proper message and product into the channel (without dumping BTW).

    In other words, the 7% sequential decline is almost inexcusable – but the actual market share is another story altogether.

  8. How good are sony laptops…I have a close friend who was going to purchase a Sony Laptop because his 1 and half year of hp laptop is constantly in the shop and will not probably make it past this year.

    I convinced him to get a MacBook Pro….but just out of curiosity how do Sony laptops compare to apple laptops from a hardware and quality perspective?

    I know gateway, dell, & hp sucks…but I never owned a Sony.

    Can anyone share their experience with

  9. @ Wallace

    “Pathetic. After all these years (post OSX & iPod halo factor) and hype Apple market share is shameful.
    Folks, it is never going to happen Apple getting into double digits for market share.”

    Uh read this

    While Apple is cited by Gartner and IDC as selling around 5% of all the computers in the US, it isn’t obvious that Apple’s 5% share is the cream of the market; it’s actually worth more than the same or larger percentage shares held by rivals.

    There were 9.8 million Macs sold in the last two years, up from 6.2 million in the previous two year period. Those numbers don’t compare with the stunning volume of PCs shipped by HP and Dell–which each sold 38 million PCs in 2006 alone–but Apple’s profits do.

    In the forth quarter of last year, HP and Dell combined sold 10 times as many PCs as Apple in the US, earned 5.5 times as much revenue as Apple, but together only ended up with 2.2 times as much net income as Apple.

    In other words, Apple earned nearly half as much net income with its 5% share the market as HP and Dell together, with their combined 55% share of the US PC market: $1 billion for Apple vs $2.2 billion for HP and Dell together!


    Apple has been in the computer buisness a very long time and has seen many PC box assemblers come and go.

    Gateway and IBM for instance.

    It’s not the market share that counts, but the PROFITABLE market share.

    Eventually Apple’s cash cow will get so huge….

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.