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Gartner, IDC: Mac sales slip in Q2, Apple still in fourth place

updated 07:47 pm EDT, Wed July 9, 2014

IDC advances theory that iPad sales are cannibalizing Macs

Although Apple still retains about 10 percent of the US PC market and remains the fourth-place manufacturer, new preliminary numbers from market analyst firms IDC and Gartner note that Apple was the only top-five PC manufacturer to post negative growth from the year-ago quarter, dropping between 1.3 and 1.7 percent (the two firms disagree on the specifics). IDC says Apple now holds an even 10 percent, while Gartner says Apple has a 10.6 percent share.

IDC numbers for calendar Q2
IDC numbers for calendar Q2

Both IDC and Gartner believe Apple shipped about 1.68 million Macs in the company's fiscal third quarter, which ended on June 30. This would represent a small decline from the 1.7 million Macs it shipped in the year-ago quarter. Normally the slight decline would be seen as seasonal and normal -- but in light of double-digit growth by competitors, the drop has lead IDC to the conclusion that Apple's own iPads are cannibalizing some sales of notebook computers, the company's strongest-selling line of Macs.

Following a prolonged drought of sales in the overall PC industry, analysts likewise believe the current upswing is borne of consumers finally replacing their Windows XP-era machines, at least in the US market. This follows the formal end of support for XP by Microsoft and the increasing security threat the no-longer-updated OS version represents. The worldwide PC market is still down, but not as much as many had expected. IDC says shipments are down 1.7 percent for PCs worldwide from a year-ago, while Gartner claims shipments actually grew 0.1 percent based on reports of unusual growth from HP.

Gartner numbers for calendar Q2
Gartner numbers for calendar Q2

Overall growth in the US PC sector is said by IDC to be up 6.9 percent (Gartner sees it as up 7.4 percent). If the figures hold true following Apple's next quarterly report to analysts, it will be only the second time in a number of years that Apple's Mac growth rate has been below the industry PC and notebook average.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-15-02

    ...I can only speak personally, however this mac replacement cycle was stopped cold with the question of legacy applications & project asset access...

    While W7pro provides an OEM supported option with virtual XP capability, the last 3 MacOS releases have no such capability, but were obviously required for any new hardware purchases. Snow is still the 2nd most used MacOS.

    Thousands of dollars worth of new mac hardware were returned last year (historically bought within Applecare cycles) when it became clear upon testing that the 'leading edge' was in fact problematic. As if that was disincentive enough, issues seemingly created by the move to annual development cycle offer reports that even mail has not worked properly for the majority of a 'current' shipping cycle - who can afford such risks or headaches...?

    While MacOS is beautifully designed & compellingly featured, given the increasing complexity & pressure on development I am regrettably finding I'm asking if the phrase 'plug & pray' might be starting to apply to macs...? Let the flames begin... :)

  1. panjandrum

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 12-01-04

    Bobolicious has made (more or less) the same point I would make: People (real people who use their computers every day in real workplace environments) aren't happy with the OS since Snow Leopard, when everything actually worked properly and provided the proper Apple experience. Unfortunately Apple has a base of fans so completely biased they are unable (unwilling) to see whats happening. I've supported small-business and educational networks, nearly all Mac-centric, for 25+ years now, and except for the nightmarish 7.5 era I've NEVER heard complaints like what I've been hearing post-Snow Leopard (for that matter, nearly everyone I work with also dislikes iOS 7). People are deeply and profoundly unhappy with the current direction of Apple software, but the OS the Apple Apps such as iWork and iMovie, many of which have become simultaneously harder to use AND less powerful. Because Apple isn't willing or able to provide the excellent experience they historically provided, people people no longer see a reason to stick with Apple products. If there is no benefit in sticking with Apple, why bother? Heck, most users still can't get used to the new Apple system that replaces the perfectly good "Save and Save As" functionality. Why? Because the new system makes zero sense (and, also, doesn't even work on Apple's own network solutions; use a network home-folder? Ha ha ha no "versioning" for you!) There are a host of other issues regarding Apple's dropping support on hardware which is patently capable of running the latest OS and software. This has had profound implications across small-business and educational networks where it isn't just as issue of "plug and pray" as Bobolicious points out, but an issue of "we absolutely can't make things work unless we move away from Apple software." It's sad but very true (Try running a network with open directory based home-folders across Macs Apple has abandoned on Lion, and new Macs which require Mavericks... I can't even being to tell you the number of problems associated with it, but it's reality since the education sector is so poorly funded they have no way to replace the older systems.) Once again, since Apple hardware and software in Education can't be made to work properly any longer, since they schools are being forced to non-Apple solutions just to maintain compatibility on their networks, why bother with Apple at all? (Possibly the only thing saving Apple currently is that MS went out of their minds also and made Windows 8, which is hated for good reasons.)

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Gentlemen, your experiences don't match anything like the reality of myself and my clients. I guess we'll see how things end up in the future, but Yosemite looks *fantastic* to me and I've been super-pleased with Mountain Lion and now Mavericks (please note -- I ran both on five-year-old equipment). I was not a huge fan of iOS 7's look before it came out but now I appreciate the improvements and efficiency, and the previous design (which i still have on an older phone) looks (and acts) primitive by comparison. To be fair, some of that may be the superior processor in the iPhone 5 family versus the iPhone 4.

    Good luck with holding on to Snow Leopard forever. I'm sure that won't be a security issue, and will work out great. Say hi to the XP refugees for me.

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