updated 01:10 pm EDT, Thu October 18, 2007
Gartner on Mac sales share
Worldwide computer sales measured 68.5 million in the third quarter of 2007, a 14.4 percent growth over the same quarter last year, says the technology research firm Gartner. The group specifically notes that growth was fastest in the combined region of Asia and the Pacific, where it rose 23.4 percent, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa together rose 16.4 percent. The US market is said to have disappointed forecasters, gaining just 4.7 percent instead of 6.7; an unusual point in the data however is Apple, which is listed as having an 8.1 percent share of the US market, up from 6.2 a year prior. This conflicts with data recently published by IDC, which suggests movement from 5.7 to 6.3 percent, a much shallower boost in performance of 15.9 percent versus Gartner's evaluated 37.2.
The reason for the overall slowness in the US market is said to be connected to the economy, a result of the subprime mortgage collapse and a general lack of consumer confidence. The results may be especially worrying in light of their timing, as the back-to-school season normally represents a good bulk of consumer-oriented sales.
HP led the worldwide market as a company, growing sales 33.1 percent to hold an 18.8 percent share. It was second in the US however, taking 25.7 percent versus Dell's 29.1. Apple placed third in the top five, followed by Toshiba and Gateway, the last of which actually saw its sales shrink 14.4 percent to give it a 5.2 percent share. Neither Apple nor Gateway rank worldwide, though, where the biggest growth was attributable to Acer, which rose 58 percent to an 8.1 percent share and acquired Gateway in late August.