NPD: Apple Mac grabs 26.8% U.S. consumer market share

U.S. consumer retail PC sales grew almost 3% during the 10 week Back-to-School period (week of July 4th through Labor Day week) after declining by 2.5% in the previous year.

According to The NPD Group Weekly Tracking Service, Apple and Chrome OS led the sales drive with Chrome OS unit sales increasing to 4.5% and Mac OS X-based products up 14 percent to 26.8% share. Windows devices declined 3%. Overall, notebooks were up 3.4% in units and desktops were flat, year-over-year.

Apple notebooks were one of the star performers this year with sales up 16% over last Back-to-School with the most significant increase over the last three weeks of the period growing 27%. Windows desktop towers saw a paltry 2% unit increase, an improvement over 2013’s 12% decline. Chromebook sales were up 32% in 2014 and accounted for 18% of all sales of notebooks under $300, a junk category in which Apple does not compete.

Windows notebook ASPs fell over the last three weeks to just $441, which was 8% lower than last year, but the price cuts lifted units by 4%. Entry-level Windows notebooks priced under $300 increased by 37% as prices dropped from $271 to $242. 2-in-1 Windows devices accounted for 13% of Windows sales as volume increased 6x over 2013.

“After a slow start, aggressive pricing and robust selection drove significant volumes towards the end of the Back-to-School season, making it a very strong year,” said Stephen Baker vice president of Industry Analysis at NPD, in a statement. “Due to the success of the aggressive Windows notebook pricing during Back-to-School we could see a much more aggressive pricing strategy this holiday season as the seemingly stable PC volume environment emboldens the PC OEMs and the OS and chip suppliers to make a grab for market share while the industry remains relatively steady.”

Source: The NPD Group, Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Market share for market share’s sake is a dead end. Just ask Dell how trying to make it up in volume worked for them.


    1. That’s perfectly fine with Apple. Apple wants to steadily grow Mac sales while maximizing profit margin. The goal is to find the optimal balance between unit sales and profit per unit.

      Customers who value VALUE are more likely to buy Macs. Customers who value PRICE will buy something else. Apple does not want the PRICE customers…

      The irony here is that Windows 8 has made it more difficult for PC makers to go after the PRICE customers. New PCs with Windows 8 need a touchscreen, which increases production cost. And often the “two-in-one” detachable screen gimmick. That is why Chrome is having more success; Chrome notebooks do not need a touchscreen, so they can go even cheaper to get those PRICE customers.

  1. I’m curious how NPD counts Windows tablets. Apparently, in this survey, there is a category called “two-in-one Windows devices”, which likely implies those laptops that convert to tablets. So, NPD is counting those as PCs, but not iPads. I’m curious to hear if in their survey of the tablet market, they count these same 2-in-1 Windows devices as tablets again.

    1. I understand your concern and you would like to know for certain how they’re tallying this data but you have to really ignore these people who count numbers so they favor certain brands or platforms over others.

      Let NPD fudge the numbers any way they want to. In the end whether iPads are counted as one thing or another the revenue is going to Apple. If NPD isn’t doing things on the level, they’re only fooling themselves.

      I’m certainly curious and would like to know precisely how they define their categories for devices but that information will probably not be forthcoming.

      1. Theoretically, incorrect count of market share for Mac can be detrimental. Many developers make their decisions on publicly available market share numbers, and if Mac numbers are under-reported, it is possible that some Mac development effort may be postponed or never attempted due to lack of justification as a consequence of low market share.

  2. I sure am curious where all those Windows computer are hiding these days. Whenever I’m in a meeting, at least half the participants with computers are using Mac laptops.

    Moreover, during the past two years, every time I wait at an airport I make a conscious effort to count the number of Macs vs Windows laptops I see being used. The number of Macs always is exceeds the number of than Windows laptops.

    So where the hell are all the Windows computers that make up this huge market share?

  3. “Apple notebooks were one of the star performers this year with sales up 16% over last Back-to-School..”

    That’s because Tim Cook fucked up and missed the “Back-to-School” window last year. If you remember, new MacBook Pros were expected in June but never showed up until October completely missing the Back-to-School window.

    1. George, be careful with the truth around here. Some fanboys can’t handle it. They will stick their greasy little fingers in their ears and yell “troll” at the top of their whiny voices!

      Cook has screwed up way too much. 2009 remains the high point of Apple quality in my experience. For both software and hardware releases since then, quality & value have declined. The reason is obvious: Cook shifted his focus onto making everything an iCloud appliance with monthly service contract, and he promoted designers to make flat thin white things, he attempts to buy his way into street cred with stupid purchases like Beats instead of focusing on solid engineering and delivering unquestionably high value. To the fanboy, itt’s completely okay to have an ugly flat skinny font whitewashed GUI and a fragile phone with poor battery life. To me, Apple needs to do better.

  4. I work for a very large bank. I can tell you that the business laptops and desktops used by ALL of the executives as well as all of the top-level mission-critical systems used to disseminate information are Macintosh.

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