Apple’s Mac holds 7.6% of worldwide personal computer market

The global PC market, inclusive of desktops, notebooks and workstations, grew 4.7% in Q3 2019 to 70.9 million units, the best growth performance for the segment since Q1 2012, when shipments grew 5.4%. Lenovo and HP placed first and second, with impressive performances particularly in Japan and the United States. Lenovo shipped a total of 17.3 million units while HP shipped 16.7 million units. Third-placed Dell also grew in line with the market at 5.2% and shipped 12.1 million PCs this quarter. Apple and Acer rounded the top five, taking fourth and fifth places respectively, also growing shipments albeit by 1.5% and 0.8%. Canalys however warns that this is a short-term boost, effects of which could wear off as early as Q1 2020.

Multiple factors continued to contribute to demand in PC sales, including upgrades to Windows 10, and seasonal inventory stocking for the holidays, but the market was given further impetus by macroeconomic conditions.

In volatile regions, PC vendors and channels were forced to take precautionary measures to hedge against future disruption. In the US, for example, another round of tariffs is scheduled to take effect on US$37 billion worth of Chinese made notebooks and tablets. As a result, leading PC vendors are pumping up production orders, and channel partners are building inventory ahead of the 15 December deadline. This impact will not last forever, but in the short term it has benefitted the PC supply chain, which saw a positive performance that is likely to extend into Q4.

“The PC market high is refreshing. However, there is a limit to how quickly leading vendors can ramp production,” said Rushabh Doshi, Research Director of Canalys’ Mobility services, in a statement. “Intel remains a key bottleneck, with pressure on its 14nm CPU supply not likely to see improvement until Q1 2020. However, the Intel CPU shortage provided leading PC vendors an advantage over smaller rivals drove HP and Lenovo to their best Q3 performance to-date. Going forward, leading vendors will have an opportunity to further consolidate the market and squeeze smaller vendors’ market share, if the Intel supply is not able to satisfy the spike in orders.”

The top five vendors consolidated their market share to 79.6% of the total PC market in Q3 2019, with market leaders HP and Lenovo taking a lion’s share of 48% together.

Japan continued to be a stand-out growth market, with businesses complying with deadlines for the end of Windows 7 extended support, and more importantly, a ramping up of IT infrastructure spend ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, driving up demand for PCs. Additionally, Japan is set to increase its consumption tax from 8% to 10% in October 2019, which is accelerating refresh timelines across the country, driving up sell-in. The top three vendors increased market share, with Lenovo, HP and Dell posting excellent growths of 61%, 83% and 104% year-on-year respectively, achieving personal bests for all three vendors in Japan. Total desktop, workstation and notebook shipments in Q3 2019 were 4.5 million versus 2.7 million a year ago, an enviable growth of 63% over last year.

PC shipments in the United States in Q3 benefitted from tail-end back-to-school season demand and front loading of shipments into the channel ahead of expected disruption from tariffs in the crucial holiday spending period from November to January. Shipments were up 3.0% year-on-year, with Apple and HP growing faster than the market average. HP continued to see a healthy sell-in of Chromebooks, with shipments over the million mark.

In Europe, uncertainty over Brexit and its outcome restrained demand for PCs, as businesses are apprehensive about investments for the long-term. Shipments grew about 2% in EMEA, below the global average. Apple was the only vendor in the top five to not see shipment growth in the region.

Canalys: Global PC market posts record growth in 7 years, shipments up 4.7% in Q3 2019

Source: Canalys

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, when you factor in iPads, with roughly 10+ million units sold per quarter, Apple is among the top personal computer vendors, if not the top personal computer vendor, in the world, as has been the case for many years.

31 Comments

  1. It would be nice to know how many of the PCs sold are to the public. A lot of PC sales are for commercial use and tend to skew the numbers. It would be good to know how many consumers own Macs over PCs.

    1. IIRC the consumer market share is more in the range of 15-20%.

      But I remember overall share being less than 2% 15 years ago, so it’s more than tripled since then.

  2. That’s an OK percentage, but when you think of how long Apple has been in business, one might think it should have at least 10% of the world market. It’s as though Apple has taken a long break to mainly promote the iPhone and neglected their desktop computer products. This is merely my observation and not any complaint about what Apple has been doing over the years. On so many TV shows and movies I’ve seen they nearly always have Macs displayed (iMacs or MacBooks or MacBook Pros), so there is plenty of Apple brand recognition. I’m just saying that since Macs last a fairly long time, I would think there would be a lot more Macs around. I suppose in many parts of the world, there are likely NO Macs to be found, especially in any developing nations.

    Apple isn’t even close to Dell in sales and that’s rather disappointing. I’m sure Windows PCs will always be more popular than OSX Macs unless Apple is able to begin selling OSX-running ARM laptops with competitive pricing.

    There is a very decent used Mac market out there where Macs can be had for a lot less money and they’re still quite useful.

      1. CitizenX, just regurgitating a paraphrased slogan should be beneath you.

        Apple’s Mac line should be for anyone — literally anyone — that wants to get work done (or play games) without having to fight with the hardware or software in order to do so. The lineup should be leading edge to support all users.

        What do you thing the MacBook Pro line is or the Mac Pro line is or the iMac Pro line is other than “trucks”?

          1. Cannot disagree more.

            Watches, phones, tablets are all LIMITED functionality submarkets of the computer industry. You actually can’t create much of anything with these gadgets. If you think otherwise, I look forward to seeing you attempt to write a simple app on your iPad. That’s the price you pay for ultraportability.

            The Mac, in comparison, can theoretically create anything and run any software, inputting and outputting stuff in a huge array of formats, interfacing using all manner of methods including touchscreen / pen inputs. If Apple didn’t unreasonably lock down its hardware and offered more competitive pricing, the Mac would have 25% market share and an order of magnitude more premium software developers making Mac-first apps. Only lack of Apple leadership has prevented that. People still want PERSONAL COMPUTERS. Too bad Timmy doesn’t want to offer them. He wants to rent you media instead.

      1. Dell sells a full range, going well past Apple in capability and price. But they are kind enough to sell inexpensive kit to people on tighter budgets. What a shame Cook refuses to do this.

          1. They are. You wouldn’t know it because, as a private company, Dell doesn’t have to report its earnings every quarter.

            Merging with EMC has made Dell a powerhouse in the server market. Where’s Apple there? Golly, Apple is doing SOOOOOO well on its cloud strategy. Apple rents its servers from others, which is why iCloud offers less than anyone else at a higher price. And Apple can’t even run its own internal business without buying HP/Linux servers.

            Truth hurts. It didn’t have to be this way, but it helps to admit reality rather than pretending that Apple has a healthy growing personal computer business. Apple leadership isn’t investing what it needs to to grow the flagship product that put Apple on the map.

    1. It’s a pathetic percentage!!!! Apple leadership should be embarrassed. Poor array of mostly stale products, obscene prices, crappy keyboards, erratic software updates at best. Apple isn’t earning their premium pricing and many folks here have pointed it out for the last decade.

        1. Sounds like Observer provided an accurate report to me. He is far from the only person to list these issues, which seem to be increasing over time. Timmy clearly doesn’t give a F about Macs, he’s just not decisive enough to make the decision to make it great again (that’s for you Goeb) or kill it off already. So the Mac staggers along with obvious half-assed effort behind it. Timmy puts significantly more effort into media production now. Is that what people want from Apple? I am not trying to leave Apple, Apple is actively leaving Mac users year after year with poor value and poor config choices.

          People ought to think what 7.6% market share means.

          It means that out of 100 people buying a new computer, 92 of them found your product wanting. It doesn’t meet their needs at the price offered. Apple has spent the last 10 years losing market share to more nimble competitors Lenovo, HP, and Dell, year after year. Macs are nowhere to be found in schools anymore. You won’t find them in engineering firms or most scientific labs, and certainly not in any huge computing clusters or server farms. Apple used to have the chops to be in those areas.

          But under Timmy, Apple let 6 years go by between tower Mac Pro updates, almost that long between Mac Mini updates, and its laptop lineup remains an expensive confusing mess that doesn’t do a very good job serving the many different sub-markets there. For example, it’s been close to a decade since Apple offered a 17″ MacBook Pro portable workstation (with internal expansion and repairability, mind you, like most professionals want). Apple has never even attempted to make a secondary display for iMac owners that matches their latest limited-screen-area all-in-one Mac. Are Apple leaders so deaf they didn’t get enough feedback to figure out what people want?

          Don’t even get me started about axing X-Serve on the dawn of the cloud computing boom. Apple truly screwed themselves there.

          There are many here willing to apologise for Apple’s declining global Mac (and iOS, etc)) market shares, but a good CEO doesn’t just give away important markets like this. Apple should be able to maintain the Mac. The revenue the Mac has lost to the competition is not being made up for my homepods and earbuds.

          Yes, HP and Dell are running circles around Apple when it comes to delivering products that 92% of high and low end computing customers are willing to buy for anything other than fashion symbols at the local coffee shoppe.

    2. That’s NOT an OK percentage. Apple is once again losing market share. Apple should, at the very least, maintain its market share.

      Once upon a time (1990) Apple had a peak overall market share of 19.2% when including both Mac and Apple product lines. Think about that. Almost one if five computers sold was from Apple. Apple sold more personal computers than anyone else.

      In the following years it reached an all time low of about 1%. Under the returned Jobs, and a couple years post Jobs due to momentum, Apple clawed its way back up — nowhere near that lofty 19.2% but very respectable. Depending on which Mac segment you look into, Apple has been on a slow but continuous slide in market share for a few years now.

      We can list many things that are partial causes of this slide, but the biggest one is lack of attention and push regarding the Mac line by Tim Cook (aka John Sculley 2.0) and his immediate staff. Tim Cook does not have to abandon any of his vast set of products and services introduced since he took over in order to right this ship. He just needs to put a bit more focus and effort into making the Mac what it was with regard to the rest of the industry 15 – 20 years ago.

      Tim and his staff telling reporters and customers that the Mac line is very important to Apple is just a lie. There’s no other way to say it.

      If the Mac line were truly important to Tim and staff then there would not have been a seven year gap (hopefully not worse!) in a real Mac Pro offering. There would not be a keyboard issue that has plagued Mac laptops for years. They would not have abandoned Apple monitors for many years. They would be shipping new Macs long before the components are six to 12 months old (and not shipping new Macs within a few months of when new/replacement components are starting to ship).

      1. “biggest one is lack of attention and push regarding the Mac line”
        No, the biggest one is that people don’t need Mac to do the very low level computing tasks they need to do. They can push as hard as they’d like, if folks don’t feel they need them, they won’t be buying.

        Back then, if you wanted to send or receive email or surf the web in any meaningful way, you NEEDED a computer. The vast majority of people still primarily do the same basic things, BUT those basic things can be easily handled by mobile devices. When you add that the mobile device has the option to be connected ALL THE TIME, it makes for a very compelling argument against any Mac.

  3. Apple has yet to truly increase their Mac sales with marketing and compelling products though I think the products are getting there with the new MBP and 2019 Mac Pro. There’s no reason they aren’t seeing over 10% market share except lack of effort, better advertising and promotion plus selling Macs that don’t have sales-deflating issues like the butterfly keyboards no one asked for ever. Apple needs to ask remember “just because we can doesn’t mean we should” from time to time.

    Looking forward to the new Mac Pro!

  4. If one compares the estimated versus actual units sold when Apple released sales numbers, their sales were almost always underestimated. My guess is nothing has changed.

  5. I think Apple would do better if they lowered the prices a little and start back on being more open! They headed down the more open road and then reversed! Had standard hard drives, ram, etc. Now we have proprietary M.2 slot for HD, soldered ram, soldered drives, glued together, etc! They are so thin now and one layer, no reason they can’t be made to repair easily! Simply remove a few screws and access to all parts and easily removable, but they don’t want to do that and no reason they can’t! Was great news to see iPadOS and see it open up a little with access to external storage, etc!

  6. Do the numbers. My main reason for using Macs is the OS. I left PC’s years ago because of Windows 8 and will never return. That said, I’d love to upgrade my 2015 iMac and 2013 MBP but new Macs are just TOO expensive considering the hardware you get. Compare price and performance of Macs VS PC’s and it’s clear that Mac’s continue to be overpriced. Plus, they’re essentially closed systems with very little or no opportunity for customization. I won’t go back to a Microsoft box but I won’t be upgrading anytime soon. The economics don’t work for me.

  7. Apple still makes Macs because it’s their hallmark product. However, the profit margins aren’t there for them anymore. OS development and hardware development are just way more costly than iOS and iOS devices. The iPhone is now their signature gross profits money maker. Plus, they can essentially force you to upgrade every 3 yrs or less on a device they make more money on per unit. And, they have multiple distribution channels to do it through the cellular carriers and their upgrade incentives. So the fact that the Mac has any sales at all with their always Apple factored in premium pricing and as of the last five years or so hardware design spec’s lagging due to total lack of updating is amazing. To the top brass at Apple the conversation goes like this:

    Brass: “How we do’in on overall Mac sales?”
    Actuarial Flunky: “We’re neither gaining nor losing, they’re flat, sir.”
    Brass: “Good! The board would lynch me if we lost the Mac. Keep up the good work!”

  8. My only complaints with my 2017 MBP13″ is… The keyboard! For the rest, this little beast keep on surprising me.

    I word in event production, most of the people here uses Apple laptop. When I encounter PC laptop, I am surprise how cheap the built is.

    When you want built quality, the range of your PC laptop = Apple MBP price.

    Poeple have always settle for less and keep on doing so. So they change their cheap laptop every 2 years. That is a big difference in the % sales.

    I change MBP every 4-5 years.

Reader Feedback

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