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Apple claims 4th place in US PC sales for all 2009

updated 04:50 pm EST, Wed January 13, 2010

Acer, Dell, HP drop while Apple and Tosh gain

Apple has successfully held off Toshiba to claim a title as the fourth-best computer builder in the US for all of 2009, according to an early estimate from IDC. The Mac producer's market share grew just a tenth of a percent in the year, to exactly 8 percent, but was enough to fend off a surge for Toshiba from 5.8 percent to 7.7 percent. Apple is thought to have shipped 5.58 million computers to the country, or just 200,000 more than its Japanese rival.

Of the top five, Apple actually had the slowest relative growth, though it fared much better than second-place Dell, which lost its lead with a drop from 29.4 percent to 24.5 percent. HP overtook Dell by climbing slightly to 26.9 percent, and Acer widened its lead over Apple by moving from 9.3 percent to 11.4 percent.

Toshiba's rapid rise is more evident in results specific to the fall quarter, where it has ousted Apple from its fourth place spot. Year-over-year PC shipments for Toshiba jumped a dramatic 71.5 percent to give it 8.3 percent of the market; Apple also grew, but only by 0.4 points to 7.4 percent. Acer and Dell appear to have been the primary victims as both lost share and slumped to 11.9 and 22.4 percent respectively, enough to give them third and second place. HP jumped from exactly 25 percent to 29.2 percent to again usurp Dell's lead.

Researchers at IDC didn't explain Apple's results specifically, but the combination of Windows 7's October release and a shift towards less expensive notebooks has favored those building cheap PCs. Average Mac prices have dropped in the past year but are still nearly three times higher as Apple still prefers to charge a similar amount for more features than to lower its sticker value. Netbooks have helped buoy shipment numbers but are known to have eroded a large amount of revenue for some of their designers.

Internationally, Apple remained out of the top five, where Lenovo occupies the fourth-place spot for 2009 with 8.5 percent of the market. HP consolidated its lead with a gain to 20.3 percent, while Dell shrunk to 13.1 percent. Acer's preference for netbooks and entry PCs helped it nearly break even with Dell at exactly 13 percent, and Toshiba moved up slightly to 5.4 percent.

The fall quarter results stand as a potential sign of Dell's further fall as Acer has replaced Dell for second place with 13.4 percent versus 12.5 percent. HP nonetheless still holds on to a stable lead at 20.7 percent while Lenovo and Toshiba are again at fourth and fifth places with 9.2 percent and 5.8 percent of the market.

As these are advance estimates for most of the companies, the final figures are likely to change at least slightly once vendors publish their official results for the fall period.

by MacNN Staff



  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969


    fourth-best computer builder

    Well, actually Apple is the best computer builder who currently is the fourth-best computer seller.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    leave the word 'best' out of it

    fourth-best computer builder

    Ranks fourth in computer shipment.

    It has nothing to do with 'best'.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Other companies are swimming in a sea of red ink

    in order to gain market share. A veritable race to the bottom to get to the top. Dead fish also rise to the top of water. Apple is just rolling in calm green seas with a small but loyal customer base and excellent customer service which will only get better come February. It's true that Apple seems to be frozen in growing desktop sales, but eventually the other companies are going to have to start charging more for their products because they can't just stay in business by selling $300 netbooks. When they do, Apple will stand a better chance of gaining more desktop market share.

    Meanwhile Apple may just pull an end run around the desktop with their tablet. There is no way a disparate bunch of Windows computer companies are going to bring a whole tablet package together with as much marketing skill as Apple. I'd like to see them try using standard desktop Windows 7 with an Atom processor as a combo for a competitive tablet.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    future trends

    The line between what is a computer and what is a phone, is already beginning to blur.

    With the upcoming release of the Apple Tablet, it really is going to depend on how that is counted. If it's counted, as netbooks are, as a sale of a 'computer' and added to these numbers, then Apple's market share here will obviously rise.

    iPod touches/iPhones are not counted here...but its not so obvious that they shouldn't be counted. These are handheld computers, that run peoples personal apps - they are part of the software universe, part of revenues for hardware.

    But no matter, I think the tablet will have to be counted as a type of netbook without a physical keyboard.

    So we should see, in that event, Apple in the top 5 for 2010, and probably about 3rd by 2011.

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If you can't put it up to your ear and make a phone call it's not a phone.... so i can't see the tablet being labeled a phone (regardless of a physical keyboard or not).You can get a 3g connection for any laptop and therefore I don't think access to mobile data is enough to classify something as a phone.

    Also, I think it's a little premature to start talking about counting an iphone as a computer. Although it's a great device, its still very limited when compared to a computer...

  1. chucker

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If you can't put it up to your ear and make a phone call it's not a phone....

    Mmm, I have a phone here on my desk that I usually put on speaker-phone when I speak.

    Methinks your idea of a phone is outdated, everyone knows that in the future a mobile communicator, will be a wrist-banded gizmo that you just smack with your other hand when you want to speak to someone...

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yes Chucker. You are right. Good one. But CAN you put it up to your ear if you want to? Jesus.

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