Apple’s holiday Mac sales outpaced Windows PCs by largest margin in 5 years

“While some pundits speculate that Mac lineup could be on the way out in favor of the iPad, Apple’s traditional notebooks and desktops outpaced the overall PC market by nearly 25 percent last quarter, representing the largest margin separating the two in five years,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“Apple’s successful holiday quarter was highlighted this week by analyst Charlie Wolf with Needham & Company, who questioned whether the strong performance by the Mac is ‘a one-quarter blip’ amidst a sinking PC market,” Hughes reports. “Mac shipments grew 18.1 percent in the December 2013 quarter, which outpaced the overall PC market by 24.7 percent.”

“Overall PC shipments, which are dominated by Windows machines, have been shrinking year over year for the last seven quarters. Apple has also seen its Mac shipments decline in some quarters, but the company has still gained market share vs. Windows PCs in all quarters since 2005 but one,” Hughes reports. “As for Apple’s particularly strong growth in the December quarter, where it posted sales of 4.8 million units, that was aided by a favorable year-over-year comparison: In the same period in 2012, Apple faced a severe shortage of its redesigned iMac, which limited Mac shipments in the quarter. That ended up being the lone quarter where PC shipments outgrew the Mac.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote earlier this month:

The real story of Macintosh will be told in future quarters, not in comparing an anomalously botched quarter [4.1 million units] to a quarter in which Apple had ample product to meet demand [4.8 million units].

In holiday quarter 2011, Apple sold 5.198 million Macs.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. I wish, Apple would sell 10 millions in a quarter to shut up all the mouths and asses of the “analysts”. There is a market for even much better sales.

    And I wish, Apple would spend some of its money to do better ads to make Windows-people switch. Just like the former “I’m a Mac”-campaign: “Hi PC, you are missing your start button in Windows 8? Look, how simple it is on a Mac”, or something.

    Clear focus on the benefits of OSX and Mac. Less of those lifestyle ads, but more intelligent, funny and product selling ads. At the moment Apple could use this claim: “Apple. Great products. Lousy ads.” Apple deserves better ads.

    1. ????

      I’m not sure which ads you’ve been watching, but so far Apple has been extremely successful at delivering their brand message, which is the purpose of advertising for a company in Apple’s position (remember, they are no longer a tiny underdog in the sea of big fish; they are the biggest company in the world by market cap). The last thing they need in their ads is acknowledging competition (by comparing themselves to others).

      Desktop computing is somewhat below the radar for Apple. While it is still generating decent revenue for Apple, it has long ceased to be critical. As long as the share continues to grow, Apple will continue to develop Mac OS and hardware, but obviously, wasting massive amounts of cash to advertise Mac today would be without justification. Halo effect seems to provide much better advertising than any dollars Apple could spend.

      I’m a PC, I’m a Mac campaign worked well ten years ago, when Mac was still the primary revenue source for Apple. Since then, we got all those iOS devices, so this is where the battle has shifted.

    2. I can’t remember the last time I seen a public promotion of Mac products or service.

      What would happen if Apple realy started to promote the best computer in the world?

      Some time they seem to have a one tract mind when it comes to Mac. What a waste.

  2. Apple is now (NOT LAST QUARTER) shipping the Mac Pro. The old Mac Pro was blocked from Europe’s sales for a few years. So, lets add the NEW market to these sales numbers. Tim, what is the lead time on that NEW Mac Pro. You know, the one Apple showed last June? Isn’t your wheel house inventory and product flow? When will be be down to 1 week lead time? Great, Made in USA. The key word is “Made”. Lets get that product line going and raise the margins for the talking heads on Wall Street!

    1. The old Mac Pro was blocked from Europe’s sales for a few years <-Less than two years actually.

      One reason the Mac Pro was unveiled early was the barrage of Apple Bear Bullshit going on at that the time. Apple blinked, it has kewl working tech to show off, before its was ready for prime time, so they showed it off to shut up the bullshitters. That wasn't a Jobsian thing to do.

      Meanwhile, one reason the Mac Pro was delayed was the cognoscenti response that they did NOT want the new machine to ship with current Intel CPUs. Better CPUs were on the way. So Apple wisely waited, then incorporated the superior CPUs. I suspect that waiting period also kept them mindful of being able to swap out motherboards to take advantage of the next wave of CPUs as well. We'll see. Fleet of foot; Fast of flight.

  3. Prediction time:

    1. Investment house downgrades on APPL will be shown to be wrong this year.

    2. MacBook Air & iPad merge & become “ProPad”: A user can pick to use OSX or iOS at a moments notice or simultaneously depending on his tasks. Fanciful? No.

    All that palm and trackpad space on a MacBook Air can be one touch screen, larger than 7 iPhone 5s screens. Right now only a third of it is touch sensitive, but all of it could be active. Even on OSX, that touch screen could provide alerts that get the notices off the main screen if desired.

    Apple OWNS high quality mobile.

    1. Stop and think of the possibilities for a moment.

      With a large interactive palm/trackpad screen, the user could even move a virtual trackpad’s location and size as a window on that touch screen. My ProPad might live at the right side when doing graphics.

    1. Right now, Apple has a lot of new user interaction technology to incorporate into OS X and Mac hardware.

      I’d be dumbfounded if Apple ruined the current OS X experience. The OS X transition for Mac OS kicked them in the balls when they realized just how much of the Mac OS GUI everyone DEMANDED remain. Then there’s the ongoing and outrageous Windows 8 GUI catastrophe. Then there are the complaints about and little use of the iOS elements incorporated into OS X in recent years.

      Instead, what we’re going to experience is Apple sorting out the bleeding edge of all these new user interactive technologies, from voice control to air gesture control to face recognition and face gestures. We’re also going to see Apple dare, at long last, to try real 3D GUI elements and figure out the fine line between functionality and glamor (for want of a sufficient over-arching word).

      Or so I imagine.

  4. Wall Street loves publicize. Look at Google and Facebook, They always making big noises. We could hardly buy any Google products but WS believes Google is the most innovation company, therefore its stock hit rocket high.

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