Apple Bucks PC Market Trend With Mac Sales Boost

Source: Gartner.com

The global PC market sustained its seventh consecutive quarter of falling shipments and its worst decline in history in the fourth quarter of 2013, reports market research firm Gartner. According to Gartner’s data, worldwide PC shipments totaled 82.6 million units in the December quarter, a 6.9 percent drop from the same quarter in the previous year.

However, despite an overall decline in personal computer shipments, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) managed to boost its Mac sales in the fourth quarter. Apple saw 28.5 percent year-over-year growth in the United States PC market last quarter after boosting its market share from 9.9 percent to 13.7 percent. Overall, the U.S. personal computer market declined by 7.5 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.

Apple’s strong Mac sales gave it a third place ranking in the U.S. PC market, surpassing China-based Lenovo. Lenovo saw 3.5 percent year-over-year growth to finish the quarter in fourth place with a 9.7 percent share of the U.S. market. Second-place Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) also saw an increase in the December quarter with 7.4 percent year-over-year growth, which gave it a 22.8 percent share of the U.S. market.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) maintained its No. 1 ranking in the U.S. with a 26.5 percent market share despite suffering a 10.3 percent decline in PC shipments. Meanwhile, fifth-place Toshiba saw its share of the U.S. PC market decline by 13.9 percent. However, the biggest declines were among PC vendors outside of the top five rankings. According to Gartner, all other PC vendors sustained a combined decline of 30.4 percent.

Apple’s U.S. market gains are even more impressive when considering the company’s ongoing domination of the rapidly growing tablet market. As noted by Gartner, its PC vendor data do not include media tablets such as the iPad. Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa noted the popularity of tablets during the December quarter. “Holiday sales of technology products were strong in the U.S. market, but consumer spending during the holidays did not come back to PCs as tablets were one of the hottest holiday items,” said Kitagawa.

While Apple saw significant growth in the domestic PC market, it’s unknown how much the California-based company increased its share of the global market, since Apple failed to rank among the top five worldwide PC vendors. Lenovo, which only ranked fourth in U.S. PC market shipments, took the No. 1 spot in the worldwide market with an 18.1 percent share.

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