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Apple drops to 5th in US computer sales

updated 04:30 pm EDT, Wed July 15, 2009

IDC Prelim Q2 2009

Apple has sunk a full position in the US computer market during the spring, according to early estimates by IDC. The Mac producer is expected to have dropped from fourth place in the winter to fifth in the spring as it should have shipped 12.4 percent fewer computers than it did a year earlier, falling to 1.21 million Macs. Its market share is poised to remain the same at 7.6 percent but will have been eclipsed by Toshiba, which could jump over a full percentage point to ship 7.7 percent of PCs in the US.

Of the top five, the only other firm to lose market share is predicted to be Dell. If accurate, Dell would still have the lead with 26.3 percent of the market but will have shipped 18.9 percent fewer PCs than it did in spring 2008 and would have shipped just 40,000 more computers than HP at 4.17 million. HP's deliveries are still anticipated as being near flat at 2.3 percent growth from year to year, though the lack of change was enough for Dell to at least temporarily regain a lead it had lost in winter of this year.

Acer will have grown the quickest under these estimates, jumping exactly 51 percent to reach nearly 2.01 million PCs shipped and 12.6 percent of the American market.

Overall, the country's computer business will have shrunk about 3 percent compared to a year earlier. The news is hailed as positive by IDC, which had expected worse due to the economic fallout, but with mixed results. As retail shopping was still strong and gave a boost to notebook sales, desktops and business sales as a whole were slower than predicted earlier.

IDC wouldn't speculate on each brand, but it's commonly believed that the relatively high prices of Macs hurt Apple for most of the quarter, steering those still sensitive to the economy towards lower cost brands or else keeping them from buying altogether. Sweeping MacBook Pro updates that included lower prices only came in mid-June and were unlikely to have had a significant impact. Companies like Acer, meanwhile, have already focused heavily on budget portables; it specifically is the leader in netbooks, which may represent as much as one quarter of the market by the end of the year.

Dell couldn't claim a similar lead worldwide and saw the gap between itself and continued leader HP widen further compared to a year ago. HP is likely to have shipped about 13.1 million PCs and earned 19.8 percent of the global industry where Dell will have shipped 9.11 million PCs and collected 13.7 percent of the market. Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba should all have grown but will maintain their respective third, fourth and fifth places with 12.7 percent, 8.7 percent and 5.3 percent of the wider field.

No data is available for those outside of the top five companies on the international stage, including Apple.

The world PC market dropped at about the same rate as the US, at 3.1 percent, and was again seen as a positive as it indicated that the public was continuing to buy new computers; few firms could link larger shipments to attempts to clear out excess stock. IDC had originally feared a drop of 6.3 percent.





By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. VinitaBoy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2001

    -2

    If Notebooks Count . . .

    . . . the figures are understandable, for Apple DOESN'T SELL CHEAP, DISABLED, UNDERPOWERED c***! For some reason, they insist on making serious money on each sale, rather than garnering bragging rights about their "market share," or lack thereof.

    What, do you suppose, is the "market share" of the Rolex watch line in terms of worldwide sales? Less than 1/1000 of 1%? Probably. And yet, the parent company of that product seems to be doing quite well.

    As an Apple shareholder, all I want to see is bottom line profit numbers, not market share data. If Dell makes only $15 on each PC they sell--while Apple makes $150 on each--I give a c*** if the former sells four times as many units as the latter. Do the math . . . and then let's count profitability figures, NOT "market share" data, OK?!

    Good. (Econ 101 at work.)

  1. dshan

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2002

    -1

    Of Analysts and Estimates

    Here we go again - headlines make out like we're talking official figures when in fact it's nothing more than yet another (probably significantly in error) "estimate" of PC sales from the fiction writers at IDC. Let's wait and see what Apple's real figures are before deciding whether the sky is (or is not) falling and whether Apple's lack of a netbook is or is not a Good Thing (tm).

    Frankly weather forecasting is orders of magnitude more reliable than the endless list of sales and market share "estimates" produced by the like of IDC and their ilk. They're always out by a significant percentage, sometimes too high, sometimes too low, but never reliable enough to worry about.

  1. code4fun

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    -2

    are netbooks counted?

    If so, that could skew the numbers for systems shipped. With a down economy, it's easy to see that people cut back on spending. However, there are many netbooks available today that can easily replace a laptop and they cost less than half the price of a full size laptop. A few models come with full size keys and 11" display with reasonable resolutions (1366x768). That could explain the boost in numbers for the PC makers. It would be interesting to see an Apples to Apples (pun intended) comparison.

    This could also indicate a trend that says netbooks are good enough for the masses. Apple wouldn't compete in that although it will be harder to do so if this downward trend continues over the next few quarters.

  1. Constable Odo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    0

    Nothing counts except

    market share to analysts. The fact that you can buy three netbooks for the price of one MacBook means nothing to them except that Apple probably sold two less computers than the competition.

    I'm only interested in revenue and profits, but I suppose it's not as exciting as market share.

  1. Zeeb

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Feb 2006

    -4

    Not surprising

    It's a recession. I'd expect Apple to sell less. As long as there are quality MBP's around when I'm ready to buy I don't care.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -3

    market share

    What, do you suppose, is the "market share" of the Rolex watch line in terms of worldwide sales? Less than 1/1000 of 1%? Probably. And yet, the parent company of that product seems to be doing quite well.

    And last I checked, Rolex watches didn't require a whole industry (like software developers) to create accessories (peripherals, software, etc) in order for you to use that watch.

    So, yes, market share counts more than profitability. And if you don't believe that, maybe you should harken back ten years when Apple was struggling and you were hoping that developers would continue to offer software for the Mac.

  1. shawnde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    +5

    re: market share

    I have to agree with Testudo here ... in response to others who're only counting profits and revenue, I tend to disagree.

    Computers are very different that watches, automobiles, etc. Because as was mentioned, computer platforms, especially Apple in particular, need momentum through third-party support and development.

    If the iPod/iPhone didn't have all the accessories and the apps, it wouldn't have been nearly as successful. It's like a snowball effect; the more developers you have the more your market share.

    This developer issue is less important to the likes of Dell or HP, since they ALL use Windows (someone else's OS), and they couldn't care about developers and such. They just sell boxes.

    So yes, Apple needs market share really bad. They certainly need it desperately, until they break 10% worldwide, where they're not in danger of being left out.

  1. salcorn

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009

    0

    Who do you believe?

    Hmmm... funny that today this story also came out:

    Single digit growth boosts Apple's share of US PC market to 8.7%

    Apple's share of the U.S. computer market grew 2.5 percent in the second quarter while the PC industry as a whole saw shipments slide 1.2 percent, according to new figures released Wednesday by market research firm Gartner.

  1. salcorn

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009

    0

    Who do you believe?

    Hmmm... funny that today this story also came out:

    Single digit growth boosts Apple's share of US PC market to 8.7%

    Apple's share of the U.S. computer market grew 2.5 percent in the second quarter while the PC industry as a whole saw shipments slide 1.2 percent, according to new figures released Wednesday by market research firm Gartner.

  1. lamsdale

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2007

    +4

    Biased report

    "Apple has sunk a full position in the US computer market". A full position??? Oooh!!! Although it is actually impossible to fall half a position.

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