updated 10:35 pm EDT, Wed April 18, 2007
Apple share grows by 30%
Sales of Macs largely kept pace with significant growth in overall PC shipments during the first quarter of 2007, two market research firms concur, yielding Apple the title of fastest growing manufacturer with regard to U.S. computer sales. Both Gartner and IDC issued statements today indicating that while the shipment of Microsoft's Windows Vista helped drive PC sales in the first quarter of 2007, Apple was able to match the market with stronger portable sales and an increase in units moved through retail channels, despite stagnant Mac growth predictions from Gartner earlier this year.
In the U.S. PC market, Gartner estimated PC shipments grew 2.9 percent in the first quarter compared to a year ago. Results were higher than Gartner's forecast which called for 0.6 percent growth. "The home segment continued to drive PC shipment growth in the U.S. market," the firm said in its release.
Gartner pegs Apple's current U.S. market share at 5 percent -- a whopping 30 percent increase of the 4 percent figure estimated for the first quarter of 2006. According to the research firm, this makes Apple's market share the fastest growing among PC vendors in the U.S, with Toshiba following closely at 26.8 percent growth. Dell, meanwhile, saw a 15.5 percent decrease in market share, though it retained its spot as top PC vendor in the U.S.
Mixed geographic results worldwide
The United States, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Latin America regions performed better than Gartner's forecast while Asia/Pacific and Japan shipments were lower than expected. The Asia/Pacific region surpassed the U.S. PC market to take the No. 2 position in terms of shipments for the first time. The United States, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Latin America regions performed better than Gartner's forecast while Asia/Pacific and Japan shipments were lower than expected. The Asia/Pacific region surpassed the U.S. PC market to take the No. 2 position in terms of shipments for the first time.
Worldwide, rival market research firm IDC said that PC shipments bucked its recent trend, posting double-digit growth (10.9 percent) in Q1 2007 in contrast to single-digit growth for the prior three quarters.
"The strong first quarter is a good indicator of the health of the industry," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. "The United States and Japan didn't grow much in the first quarter, but solid gains elsewhere and a boost from Vista brought us back to double-digit growth. The key market drivers – portable adoption and consumer demand – continue at a healthy clip, and commercial replacements should contribute more in coming quarters. Growth is likely to stay in double-digits over the next two years although it will be concentrated in Portables and international markets."
HP outpaces industry with Vista, Dell left restructuring
Gartner also noted that Hewlett-Packard's worldwide PC shipment growth far outpaced the industry average, with its worldwide PC shipments increasing 28.7 percent in the first quarter. Meanwhile, Dell had another difficult quarter experiencing below-average growth across many regions.
"HP was helped by the Vista operating system consumer launch in the mature regions, and it is benefiting from a strong position in the channel," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest's Client Computing Markets Group. "The first quarter of 2007 was a transitional quarter for Dell as the company began a major restructuring project."
Official Mac shipment numbers are expected from Apple when it announces earnings on April 25th.