Gartner: Apple’s worldwide Mac sales grew 4.5% in Q117

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 62.2 million units in the first quarter of 2017, a 2.4 percent decline from the first quarter of 2016, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. The first quarter of 2017 was the first time since 2007 that the PC market experienced shipments below 63 million units in a quarter.

The PC industry experienced modest growth in the business PC market, but this was offset by declining consumer demand. Consumers continued to refrain from replacing older PCs, and some consumers have abandoned the PC market altogether. The business segment still sees the PC as an important device, and it’s the main work device for businesses.

“While the consumer market will continue to shrink, maintaining a strong position in the business market will be critical to keep sustainable growth in the PC market. Winners in the business segment will ultimately be the survivors in this shrinking market,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “Vendors who do not have a strong presence in the business market will encounter major problems, and they will be forced to exit the PC market in the next five years. However, there will also be specialized niche players with purpose-built PCs, such as gaming PCs and ruggedized laptops.”

“The top three vendors — Lenovo, HP and Dell — will battle for the large-enterprise segment. The market has extremely limited opportunities for vendors below the top three, with the exception of Apple, which has a solid customer base in specific verticals.”

The competition among the top three vendors intensified in the first quarter of 2017. Lenovo and HP were in a virtual tie for the top spot. Lenovo accounted for 19.9 percent of worldwide PC shipments (see Table 1), followed by HP with 19.5 percent share, and Dell at 15 percent share. Lenovo’s growth exceeded the regional average in all key regions except the U.S.

Table 1: Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q17 (Thousands of Units)
Gartner: Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q17 (Thousands of Units)
Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads. All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels. Numbers may not add up to totals shown due to rounding. Source: Gartner (April 2017)

HP showed the strongest growth among the top six vendors, as its global PC shipments increased 6.5 percent in the first quarter of 2017. HP’s shipments grew in all regions, and it did especially well in the U.S. market, where it had a 15.9 percent increase in PC shipments (see Table 2).

Dell has achieved four consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth. It had PC shipment increases in all regions except the U.S. Dell enhanced its channel program and expanded its share in the large-enterprise market.

The PC industry is also experiencing a price increase. Over two years ago, the price hike was attributed to the local currency deterioration against the U.S. dollar. This time around, the price hike is due to a component shortage.

“DRAM prices have doubled since the middle of 2016, and SSD has been in short supply as well,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “The price hike will suppress PC demand even further in the consumer market, discouraging buyers away from PC purchases unless it is absolutely necessary. The price hike started affecting the market in 1Q17. This issue will grow into a much bigger problem in 2Q17, and we expect it to continue throughout 2017.”

In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 12.3 million units in the first quarter of 2017, a 2.4 percent decline from the first quarter of 2016. The U.S. market has experienced a modest decline for two quarters. Much of the decline is attributed to the weak consumer market.

Table 2: Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q17 (Thousands of Units)
Gartner: Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q17 (Thousands of Units)
Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads. All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels. Numbers may not add up to totals shown due to rounding. Source: Gartner (April 2017)

PC shipments in EMEA totaled 17.9 million units in the first quarter of 2017, a 6.9 percent decline year over year. All major regions in EMEA experienced a decline in the first quarter. However, Russia saw single-digit PC growth, which was attributed to stabilization of the local economy.

The Asia/Pacific PC market showed some stabilization, as PC shipments totaled 22.8 million units in the first quarter of 2017, a 0.8 percent decline from the first quarter of 2016. PC spending in China began to show a modest recovery. Steady economic conditions were an influencing factor driving a PC refresh.

These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner’s PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe.

Source: Gartner, Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Imagine if Apple had up-to-date Macs! This bodes very well for Mac sales once we get some new ones!

Apple to unveil ‘iMac Pro’ later this year; rethought, modular Mac Pro and Apple pro displays in the pipeline – April 4, 2017
Mac Pro: Why did it take Apple so long to wake up? – April 4, 2017
Apple sorry for what happened with the Mac Pro over the last 3+ years – namely, nothing – April 4, 2017
Apple’s apparent antipathy towards the Mac prompts calls for macOS licensing – March 27, 2017
How Tim Cook’s Apple alienated Mac loyalists – December 20, 2016
Apple’s not very good, really quite poor 2016 – December 19, 2016
Apple’s software has been anything but ‘magical’ lately – December 19, 2016
Lazy Apple. It’s not hard to imagine Steve Jobs asking, ‘What have you been doing for the last four years?’ – December 9, 2016
Rush Limbaugh: Is Apple losing their edge? – December 9, 2016
AirPods: MIA for the holidays; delayed product damages Apple’s credibility, stokes customer frustration – December 9, 2016
Apple may have finally gotten too big for its unusual corporate structure – November 28, 2016
Apple has no idea what they’re doing in the TV space, and it’s embarrassing – November 3, 2016
Apple’s disgracefully outdated, utterly mismanaged Mac lineup is killing sales – October 13, 2016
Apple takes its eye off the ball: Why users are complaining about Apple’s software – February 9, 2016
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015


    1. Not surprising at all. Pent up demand. That’s what happens when you don’t ship a new machine for 18 months or more (and have constrained availability once you do ship them). Once Apple got the deliveries going and started to answer the pent up demand it was calendar Q1 2017.

      Plus, note that even though year-over-year sales increased slightly for calendar Q1 Apple’s sales did not grow as much as some competitors, e.g., HP. HP seems to be kicking Apple to the curb if you focus on unit sales and even unit sales growth in the U.S.

      1. “HP seems to be kicking Apple to the curb if you focus on unit sales and even unit sales growth in the U.S.”

        I don’t follow HP that much but I wonder if things like the z2 Mini and snap-on Slice etc are causing the uptake .

  1. Yes, surprising on one hand yet not on another. As the MDN take is clearly spot on — just imagine if Mac Pros, Mac Minis and iMacs were updated regularly. The growth would match a few years ago when Mac sales consistently lead PC sales for how many quarters, I don’t know.

    Earth to TheoMac and Predrag who have consistently dumped on Apple for supporting Macs. If they do it right — they will grow to unprecented levels … 🖥

    1. i agree

      although trucker pros were disappointed by the new MBP (perhaps rightly so) many ‘executive’ type pros love it. Shows that if Apple built stuff people want they will make money.

      Yes fix the MP, give the truckers a 32GB MBP with expansion options, and do all the other stuff GeoB said : minis etc.
      Apple leads with iPhones, the should aim to lead in every other category as well including Cloud, Home automation etc.

    2. Jobs tours Xerox PARC, has epiphany, acquires and refines GUI technology. Macintosh is born, edging Apple II out of the nest. Testy and unrealistic Jobs is bounced by CEO/BOD, tries other visionary experiments. Has one of them bought by Apple, infiltrates management and stages coup. Resurrects company through singular focus on innovative design. Mounts campaign to make common products more useable, has string of successes with iPod, iMac, iPhone, iPad. Dies. Successor maintains company with singular focus on revenue, playing into the hands of every other company, making Apple like every other company.

      Peasants revolt against mediocrity, guillotine is introduced, heads roll.

      1. Love your accurate account of Apple history, well done!

        As a PRO USER and certainly not a peasant — already bought the cold water lobster tails, 25-year single malt, Cuban cigars and waiting to pull the trigger when clueless is Cooked …

  2. Imagine those same figures if Apple actually knew what it was doing with MBP, iMacs & Mac Pros and not leaving billions on the table instead through disappointment and lack of lust?

    The current crop of numbskulls is not as bright as Steve Jobs at giving people what they want, instead outthinking themselves into a corner and thinking they know something we don’t. Who’s wrong now? There’s plenty of life and demand left in Mac’s ahead with the right strategy and marketing, and it’s foolish for Apple to think otherwise.

  3. Not exactly great for Apple. Wall Street wants to see double-digit growth from companies and Apple doesn’t have anything the equivalent of a Chromebook which is always being praised for being highly popular because it’s so darn inexpensive.

    I’ve always wondered why it takes so long for Apple to do computer refreshes. They must be very thorough when it comes to changing components. Maybe Apple doesn’t feel it’s worth the effort when it comes to minor component upgrades. Macs don’t get much love anymore because its the iPhone that brings in that sick cash flow.

    1. @Paul Osborne effect:

      The Osborne effect is a term referring to the unintended consequences of a company announcing a future product, unaware of the risks involved or when the timing is misjudged, which ends up having a negative impact on the sales of the current product.

      The term was coined after the Osborne Computer Corporation, in which the company took more than a year to make its next product available and eventually ran out of cash and went bankrupt in 1985.

  4. “The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels.”

    We all know about the variations caused by comparing sales vs shipped, but dies this method of gathering data count Macs sold directly by Apple?

  5. Not bad for a company that seems to be shrinking its desktop products while working to keep what products it has for the desktop hidden.

    Other than those two things, I’d say APPLE was kicking butt.

  6. A few years ago Apple were shipping 5m macs for at least 2 quarters. With that growth they should now be shipping 6m.
    Rather than continually pressuring competitors with lower pricing and good entry level products, Apple have taken the gas off the foot.
    Their margins are great on these products and should be using that to price units aggressively. By slowly reducing pricing, margins are only impacted minimally but competitors are force the lower prices more.

    1. Apple has not been firing on all cylinders for the Mac.

      Although I’m glad for their quarters gain, Marketshare and sales should be much much larger today if they had focused.

      — I agree they lack entry level priced models for both desktop and mobile. i don’t expect Apple to match Chromebooks etc but there should be at least a reasonably affordable machines for students etc.

      — They are also missing the mark on updates and listening to their consumers on features people want (like for the Mini and Mac Pro. The Mini dropped from Quad core and has its RAM soldered now.)

      — Marketing for Macs is basically non existent . No TV , no Print. No promotion tie ins with iPhone etc. Not even cheap social media or Web ads. If they had keep up marketing (Jobs had one new Mac ad a month, 66 different Mac/ PC guy ads in 4 years, which tapered off and died under Cook ) especially during the Win 8 Fiasco years Mac marketshare if growing an extra 5-10% a year compounded would mean marketshare about double now. Neglecting to push during Win 8 must be one of the biggest business blunders in marketing history (Msft. has shipped 300-400 million Win 10 licenses and aiming for 1 billion).

      (note I believe Apple has enough resources with billions in the bank to do BOTH iOS and MacOS. They just didn’t keep their eye on the ball. )

      1. Yes be nice if they produced ads based on the ways that iOS products and Macs operate together if they are averse to simply producing Mac specific ads. Equally a new Macbook Air platform that fills in the gap between the two, utilising as they like to claim, ‘desktop’ performance A Series chips running Mac OS or at least iOS with a more Chromebook/Laptop focus.

        1. I’ve suggested before an ‘A’ series laptop might be an answer for schools where Apple is getting crushed by Chromebooks. Schools say they don’t want loose keyboards which are hard to maintain (i.e iPad) , low pricel etc .

          An ‘A’ book does not need to be cheaper than Chromebooks but it needs to be cheaper than current MacBooks, maybe putting in the chip can cut costs. Also if they fear it will cannibalize Mac sales it can run modified OSX/iOS (just like iOS , TVOS are modified OSX variants).

        2. Great advertising idea to show how the iPhone would interact with Macs and opportunity to throw in an Apple TV (limited as it is) to demonstrate the full circle of connected Apple life …

  7. So, according to Gartner, Apple only sold 4.2 million Macs for the whole quarter world wide. Yet, from Apple’s own financial earnings calls, we know that Apple sells more than that in a month. As such, it’s hard to take anything Gartner says seriously as data readily available from Apple’s own earnings calls contradicts their claims.

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