Canalys: Apple’s Q3 Mac sales grew stellar 13.2% year over year

Recently released Canalys data shows Apple’s Mac sales posting stellar growth of 13.2% as the global PC market climbed 12.7% from a year ago to reach 79.2 million units in Q3 2020 as it continued to benefit hugely from the COVID-19 crisis.

This is the highest growth the market has seen in the past 10 years.

After a weak Q1, the recovery in Q2 continued into Q3 this year, and it even grew on top of a strong market the previous year. Global notebook shipments touched 64 million units (almost as much as the record high of Q4 2011 when notebook shipments were 64.6 million) as demand continued to surge due to second waves of COVID-19 in many countries and companies continued to invest in longer-term transitions to remote working. Shipments of notebooks and mobile workstations grew 28.3% year-on-year. This contrasted with desktop and desktop workstations, which saw shipments shrink by 26.0%.

Canalys: PC market shipments grow a stellar 13% in Q3 2020 to break 10-year record

Lenovo regained top spot in the PC market in Q3 with growth of 11.4% and shipments surpassed the 19 million mark. HP posted a similarly impressive growth of 11.9% to secure second place with 18.7 million units shipped. Dell, in third, suffered a small decline of 0.5% in shipments from a year ago. Apple’s Mac sales and Acer PC shipments rounded out the top five rankings, posting stellar growth of 13.2% and 15.0% respectively.

Worldwide desktop, notebook and workstation shipments (market share and annual growth)
Canalys PC Market Pulse Q3 2020

Note: Unit shipments in thousands. Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Source: Canalys PC Analysis (sell-in shipments), October 2020
Note: Unit shipments in thousands. Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
Source: Canalys PC Analysis (sell-in shipments), October 2020

“Vendors, the supply chain, and the channel have now had time to find their feet and allocate resources towards supplying notebooks, which continue to see massive demand from both businesses and consumers,” said Ishan Dutt, Canalys Analyst, in a statement. “After prioritizing high-value markets and large customers in Q2, vendors have now been able to turn their attention to supplying a wider range of countries as well as SMBs that faced difficulty securing devices earlier this year. Governments, which have realized the importance of PC access in maintaining economic activity during this time, have intervened with financial support or even full-scale device deployments. This has been especially critical in the education space, with school terms commencing in Q3 without the possibility of on-premises learning in many markets. For example, the UK government made 100,000 notebooks available to ensure students, unable to return to classrooms, face minimum disruption in their ability to receive an education. Canalys expects IT expenditure, including investment in PCs, to be a core driver of economic recoveries in the aftermath of the pandemic.”

“The lasting effects of this pandemic on the way people work, learn and collaborate will create significant opportunities for PC vendors in the coming years,” added Rushabh Doshi, Canalys Research Director, in a statement. “As the line between work and home lives is increasingly blurred, it becomes important to position devices towards a wide array of use cases, with a focus on mobility, connectivity, battery life, and display and audio quality. Differentiation in product portfolios to capture key segments such as education and mainstream gaming will also provide pockets of growth. And beyond the PC itself, there will be an increased need for collaboration accessories, new services, subscription packages and a strong focus on endpoint security. These trends will most benefit vendors who provide holistic solutions that enable their customers to make structural changes to their operations. Although the focus has been on commercial PC demand in the last two quarters, consumer spending during the holiday season is set to bring more joy to the PC market.”

Note: tablets (slates and detachables) are not addressed in this press release. Chromebooks are included as a subset of notebooks.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s Mac sales surge shows that every cloud has a silver lining.


      1. Next week, CiniqApple is even loonier than he normally is when Apple launches yet more products and services that will propel it into a $3 trillion company and will propel AppleCinner into even greater depths of babbling insanitea.

        1. That was Canalys cynicism…
          I don’t care about how much any company sells.
          But bullshit is bullshit, and shilling is shilling. They should be called Canalshill.

  1. What is nice about these numbers is that in the past these reports typically underestimate Mac sales. Apple should have a nice fiscal Q4 (calendar Q3) quarter to report.

  2. Is there any report for tablet sales or do they ignore tablets completely? Apple sells plenty of iPads and should be leading by quite a bit. Apple has recently reported they’ve sold over 500 million iPads over the last decade and many of the recent iPads (for instance, iPad Pro) cost a lot more than the run-of-the-mill Wintel laptop.

    I guess it would be best for these surveys to simply ignore the iPad as it might give Apple some proper respect. Then again, iPads aren’t computers. /s

    What’s rather amusing is how in almost every recent movie or series, the characters are using MacBooks, even the one’s they try to disguise by covering the Apple logo.

  3. This isn’t really good news. The Apple sales rose is mid table plus – the ‘others’ category is likely Chrome Books. Those are growing at twice the Apple rate. That’s a concern not a win.

  4. I bet Apple’s mid table performance on unit sales is top table performance on profit. Apple brand is a luxury product. MacDonalds unit sales are top table too but some people choose not to eat fast food. Apple’s strong growth is GREAT news for apple’s insane profit margin.

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