IDC: Apple Mac again outpaces U.S. PC market, grabs 7.4% U.S. share on 31% sales growth

Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac “Apple took advantage of a rebounding PC market this past holiday shopping season, with the Mac maker’s U.S. sales rising 31 percent year-over-year to 1.5 million units. That was good enough to keep its share of the domestic pie above 7 percent, despite an influx of budget netbook PCs that flooded the market,” AppleInsider reports.

“Apple outpaced the rest of the U.S. PC market, which also grew an impressive 24 percent year-over-year, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by IDC. Apple’s sales were enough to make it the fifth-largest domestic PC maker, behind HP, Dell, Acer and Toshiba, respectively,” AppleInsider reports.

MacDailyNews Note: Keep in mind that a meaningful part of the growth attributed to the PC market as a whole was, of course, Apple’s.

AppleInsider continues, “In all, Apple sold an estimated 5.6 million computers in the U.S. in 2009, good for an overall 8 percent share. That’s up from 5.2 million units and a 7.9 percent share saw in 2008, earning Apple 8.2 percent year over year growth. Apple was the fourth-largest U.S. PC maker in all of 2009.”

MacDailyNews Note: These are estimated numbers. Apple is scheduled to release official sales figures on January 25, 2010.

AppleInsider continues, “While Apple is growing, sales show that Apple’s slice of the market is not. That’s attributed to the booming low-end netbook market. ‘Low-cost notebooks and mini-notebooks were the biggest contributors to the successful fourth quarter,’ said David Daoud, research manager with IDC’s U.S. Quarterly PC tracker.”

Full article, including global sales figures, here.

MacDailyNews Take: Those who define “successful” based upon increasing low-, no-, and negative-margin unit sales must be allergic to money. Without meaningful – or any – positive margins, you simply can’t make it up in volume. Just ask Mikey. Apple is the world’s most successful personal computer maker. Simply look at the Mac-maker’s margins and profits.

Here’s what we wrote last April in response to the cavalcade of fools calling for Apple to produce a low-cost “netbook” to “compete” with all of the other low-cost “netbook” peddlers out there:

Little Mikey had a lemonade stand. Okay, it was a kiosk. He sold 100 (8 oz.) cups yesterday for 10-cents each. He spent 11-cents per cup for artificial lemon flavoring, corn syrup, and the paper cups. He used tap water because it was free. Threw it all together in a big plastic pail. He’s out a buck for all of his trouble. Boy, that was a lot of work for less than nothing!

Around the block, little Steve runs a lemonade stand, too. It’s all blond wood and very clean. He sold 50 (24 oz.) glasses yesterday for 50-cents each. He spent 20-cents per glass on fresh-squeezed lemons, pure cane sugar, spring water (mixed with the utmost care), and some very nice glassware (he buys in bulk and gets a good price). He took home $15 yesterday. He’s currently building his newest stand right where Mikey’s used to be.

Macintosh. You get what you pay for (and part of what you’re paying for is a healthy Apple, able to conduct proper R&D in good times and bad, that produces innovative, high-quality personal computers that satisfy customers like no other).


  1. Agreed.

    As long as Apple is here to stay, I couldn’t give a toss about market share. And according to what a few top people at Apple say, neither do they. It seems to be more of the happy side effect of creating the best computing devices in the world.

  2. They are willing to count cheep netbooks. The also count PCs used for time clocks, scales, lab equipment, manufacturing equipment, … but only Mac computers. The AppleTV, iPhone, and the iPod touch all run on Apple’s OS X. Should those computers that are programable devices also be counted? I think so. Will they count the iSlate? If not why? If they count the iSlate than why not the smaller iPhone, and the iPod touch or the AppleTV?

  3. Yeah, I still have to remind myself It’s not the early 90s and Apple isn’t threatened. Back then my fixation on Apple’s market share had everything to do withthe real possibility there would be no Apple in the near future, and without Apple as the R&D;for the rest of the industry even the crappy alternatives would stagnate in pushing the industry forward.

    Now though, I am not as zealous about convincing PC using friends why THEY would be happier using a Mac. Old habits due hard so
    etimes though, and I just have to remember that Apple isn’t going anywhere, that they are back in a position to push the envelope not only in Personal computers but a whole range of industries. The fact they have so much cash on hand, and are so profitable means I don’t have to worry anymore about marketshare or evangelizing.

    Ironically my more laid back approach just seems to make people more intrigued and curious about my choice to use a mac. Like it’s a secret I don’t need to share.

  4. “Keep in mind that a meaningful part of the growth attributed to the PC market as a whole was, of course, Apple’s.”

    Interesting thought. I did the math, sans Mac sales, and Wintel unit sales growth dropped from 22.7% to 22.1%.

    A small change to be sure, but more clearly illustrates the significance of Mac’s unit sales growth of 31%.

    The disparity in growth rates will become more apparent during 2010.

  5. If you are a company that makes nothing but netbooks, the recent boom in that category has to feel pretty good. But companies like HP, Dell, Acer, Lenova, etc. are getting their clocks cleaned in terms of net profit. I think a lot of these companies thought getting into the netbook market would be as a “loss leader”, with most customers opting for one of their more full-featured laptop offerings. Hasn’t worked out that way. Market share only counts when comparing apples to apples. Lets see consumer desktops compared, 15″ laptops, and other discrete categories of computers.

  6. Apple’s market share is falling YoY… and last year was the the height of the recession so you would have thought that Christmas 2008 would have been the low point….

    With more and more people getting Windows 7 in their hands on machines that are affordable….

    Well… Apple’s magical FUD commercials are gonna start losing all their power.

  7. As long as Apple is here to stay, I couldn’t give a toss about market share.

    Me too, up to a point. There has to be enough sales to support the rest of the ecosystem, particularly software developers.

    Some of us remember the dark days of Apple, and the lack of new, meaningful software releases.

  8. I was a PC but now I have MAC and I doubt I will buy a PC for awhile unless apple’s quality declines. However the apple is a better PC even when it runs windows, compared to the douches, and fudge packers, and lame ways. It’s well worth the investment, I started with the iPhone, and figured since it was WAY better than winblowz mobile, I would try a mac mini, and let me say 3 years no re-installs, no viruses, no hassles. I went for MBP 15″ and have been very happy, everything that requires winblowz the BOOTCAMP works wonders, and I do use winblowz a lot. However like I said it’s better PC than a PC, and it runs OSX to boot how can you go wrong buying a MAC, yes it’s more expensive but it’s a cadillac, and the PC is always a hyndai.
    Real glass, aluminum make a nice portable, instead of cheap plastic. Yes when I can afford it I’m defiantly getting the 27″ iMac, that is one sexy beastie.

  9. @XYZ,
    Welcome. PS….. “how can you go wrong buying a MAC” ….

    Since your here, its Mac. Just a thought. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />


    (MAC is that number on your cable modem)

  10. If this is true that the total PC market growth in their calculations includes Apple and then they compare Apple against that number – that is really dumb and it does not give a meaningful result. Are those guys math-challeneged?

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