Apple drops to 5th position in US computer sales

According to an article by Electronista, Apple has dropped to 5th in US computer sales, citing early reports by IDC.

Apple has shipped 12.4% fewer computers than it did last year, falling to 1.21 million Macs. Its market share will remain the same at 7.6% but will have been eclipsed by Toshiba, which could jump to ship 7.7% of PCs in the US.

The only other firm to lose market share is Dell. If this is correct, it will still have the most US market share at 26.3% but will have shipped 18.9% fewer PCs than it did in spring 2008 and would have shipped just 40,000 more computers than HP at 4.17 million.

In terms of growth. HP's growth is poised to remain flat at 2.3%, but the lack of change was enough for Dell to regain the lead it had lost winter of last year. Acer will have grown the quickest, jumping 51% to reach 2.01 million PCs shipped and 12.6% of the US market.

Overall, the US's computer business shrunk 3% compared to last year. This is less than predicted by the IDC.

In terms of the worldwide market, HP still has the lead, shipping 13.1 million PCs and earning 19.8% of the market, where Dell will have shipped 9.11 million PCs and have 13.7% of the market. Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba will maintain their third, fourth and fifth places with 12.7%, 8.7% and 5.3% respectively.


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Apple holds an important position in the computer eco-system. Apple, due in large part to its relative size to the rest of the industry, can enjoy more freedom in innovative product design, novel interface concepts and forward-thinking development platforms. Microsoft, by comparison, carries the burden of compatibility and familiarity (They tried to "break the mold" with Windows Vista and we all know how well that was received).

Apple is the little up-start company that shows the big-dogs "how it's done" and carries a fan-base of faithfuls that will buy the hardware at a premium to fuel the fire of innovation, design and style. It has been shown that the average Macintosh is composed of fairly standard components. Components that, similarly configured in a PC would cost less overall. That premium is what keeps Apple and its risky business model afloat in the rough seas of the technology free-market.

Apple has social-engineered its way to being the "hip" and "trendy" computer company that has desirable hardware regardless of the slight premium. Sony enjoyed a similar reign in the late 1970's through the 80's.

Personally, I feel that Apple likes where it's at. If it sold substantially more computers, it would suffer the same woes that Microsoft and all other large PC manufacturers do: Over-proliferation exposes more security and design flaws and massive adoption locks in the responsibility of compatibility for their constituents.

Hell, so many iPhones are being sold, that if they pick the wrong white pigment, CNN will be airing a piece that proclaims "Kaleidoscopic Case Catastrophe: Extreme heat causes white iPhones to change in color; much to the dismay of millions!" They have trouble dealing with this kind of PR. Imagine if they sold many more Macs!

How many pieces of current Windows software will run on Windows XP; a nine year-old operating system? How many CURRENT MacOS applications will run on Mac OS 10.0? Not many. (also Mac OS X 10.0 only ran on up to a PowerMac G4; you needed Mac OS X 10.3 to 10.5 to run on a PowerMac G5 and Mac OS X 10.4.4 and up to run on an Intel-Based Mac)

But I digress.

Apple's profit is not totally squandered on executive bonuses and company beach parties. They put back in to the company and develop the next "gimmick." That will send a shock-wave through the industry. Whether it's a more elegantly executed re-hash of an existing technology (AppStore = Handango), or a clever unification of core technologies to deliver a novel user experience (iPhone = Mac OS X-ish, capacitive touch-screen, hardware graphics acceleration, industry standard phone components).

Soon the industry will be a-buzz with the new product from Apple and the industry will have to retaliate. The consumers will say "I WANT THAT TOO!" and the cost of the components will drop due to an increase in production and demand, the processes will be made more efficient and through the improvement of the manufacturing processes, new iterations of technology will be born. (High density, LED-backlit screens, AMOLED displays, cheaper capacitive Touch-screens, "System-on-a-chip" microprocessor solutions, copious amounts of FLASH memory capacity, etc...) These new technologies will inspire new products and the cycle continues.

Eventually the market will be saturated by new varieties of "new technology" devices and Apple will be once again in the position of having to "one-up" everyone else.

Losing traction in computer sales is surely not happy news for Apple, but I don't feel it's the beginning of the end. The true signaling of Apple's demise would be when they can't think of anything "new" enough to keep the premium attractive. They will not survive if they become another "DELL." Unfortunately for Apple, everyone else it striving to be another "Apple" and harness the magic of innovation and design.

Indeed, Apple may not be long for this Earth, but it has an important place in the industry today; as the company that ****es off the competition to the degree that Microsoft would risk its bread-and-butter OS to bring it more in line with the capabilities of its competition; that Palm would dump its PalmOS platform for the new WebOS so it can offer an "iPhone-esque" experience; so that DELL, Acer, ASUS, HP and more would venture in to, and even surpass, the market of ultraportables and create the netbook.

I'm not saying these are the direct cause of Apple, but this is the core essence of competition. In a "free-market" we need all sorts of companies to push the envelope and it all comes down to the consumer.

While waiting in line at the Verizon Store here in Seattle, a lady ahead of me asked the sales associate if they had an iPhone. He said no. She then asked "well, do you have anything like the iPhone?" He said "Well, yeah." She said "Oh, okay!"

Apple has some catching up to do. ^__^

I have never supported Apple and never will. I visited an iShop recently - can you imagine that their mouse costs some USD 25 !!! I bought a Taiwan brand mouse for my windows pc for under USD 10 and it has been serving me very well since more than 4 years of intensive use.

Also here some 12 years ago a 21 inch CRT Apple monitor was costing...USD 6,000 !!!!

Apple just brainwash their users that they are getting something special and superior! Only tech guys know that it's a ploy to squeeze as much money out of these poor fellows. How sad! But the good news is that people are starting to see the real picture.

Yo! Microsoft selling a mouse for $99.95!! BUT as you can see this is a very high end model - 2.4 GHz wireless tech, 1 GB RAM, HD laser tech, USB recharcheable magnetic connectors - i am sure that at this price of $ 99.95 it's well worth it....

Now just see the Apple mouse - it a just a simple white normal one. Nothing special.

And yes! Forgot to talk about the Iphone! Just see the phone reviews and you will see how the Samsung, LG Sony Ericsson are building better phones at cheaper prices than the Iphone. And still people have been brainwashed into buying them.

The latest Iphones does not even have a radio! While the samsung models have one with RDS and radio recording function. Sure due to some new software the Iphone may seem better - but overall it's just ripping people off.

www.gsmarena.com is your friend. Apple has been practicing daylight robbery since 1984 or so!

Not sure they care so much about computer sales these days, especially desktops. I'd imagine ipod/iphone profits far exceed their pc sales.

m.keeley said,
Not sure they care so much about computer sales these days, especially desktops. I'd imagine ipod/iphone profits far exceed their pc sales.

The profit margins on phones/pods must be higher too? PC hardware isn't nearly as profitable as it used to be.

Wow. Well, I kind of expected this. The only reason they had such impressive growth is because competing advertising campaigns were so poor and confusing. Though Apple's ads are good, I suspect more general purpose users would want a Windows based machine...

The paradox that Apple has created for itself is that they like to instill a sense of elitism in their customers. They want their customers to think they have a computer superior to anything else out there. And a lot of their customers fall into the Mac "cult". They honestly feel that their machine is better/shinier/sleekier/sexier/faster than anything the PC world could create. It's the best and, like luxury cars, it's a niche market. It's elite.

The problem is, if Apple (hypothetically) were to have a big chunk of market, let's say even 25%, it becomes more difficult to claim elite status. If you look around and 1 out of 4 people have a Mac, are you elite? Do you still have the "best"? I can tell you that if 1 out of 4 cars on the road were luxury models then the prestige of owning one would fade away quite quickly.

I honestly think that Apple is happy the way things are now. The only way to caputre a bigger chunk of market is to price their products more affordably (just as with luxury cars). They can do that to become more mainstream or they can keep the prices higher and keep a niche market. But they can't have it both ways. You can be mainstream and fight for a good chunk of market or you can stay niche and keep your prices higher. Either way is fine but it can't be both.

While I agree with most of what you say, why would Apple have bothered with the Mac vs PC campaign if not to increase their share? I personally feel Apple would love to have 25% share without having to sacrifice their current business model.

Ranger: That's at least part of the goal. But not all ads are geared towards selling products. Part of Apple's strategy, in my opinion, with these ads is to solidify their image. When Apple owners see the ad it may reaffirm the reasons they chose a Mac. It makes them confident in their decision. For those on the fence, it may persuade them to consider Apple in making a purchase decision. And for those who aren't interested in Mac it may be seen as insulting or quite simply untruthful. But there's no harm in taking a jab at those who aren't pontential customers is there?

Apple will probably never get a large marketshare unless they change their business model. That being said, I do think it is important to have a company like Apple around to keep the market from stagnating and push other companies to do things better. To me hardware aesthetics and a slick UI aren't vital, but I sure don't mind having it either. :-)

I didn't think they would be in the top 10. Why do people buy these overpriced boxes...maybe they like that shiny apple logo.

LOL...Apple snobs think they are paying for QUALITY, but, it's the same junk the chinese have made for years.
If you buy an Apple, and a quality computer from Dell, HP, etc, minus the OS, and compare, I bet there isn't a dollars difference in the COSTS of the parts involved. If apple really wanted to gain market share, they would cut the price of their overpriced devices, to be in line with the market, but, that would "offend" the apple fanboys who were stupid enough to over pay for them in the first place.

I can't comment on Toshiba, but the fact that Walmart started carrying Acer products in the past year (especially the Aspire One), probably had something to do with the sudden emergence of Acer as a major player in the US. In the past, they were almost unheard of by anyone outside hardcore tech circles.

The less people using Apple computers the better. Makes it nicer for the folks who use it, reduced malware etc.
You enjoy your Windows 7.

Hmm, not really, I'd like it if it were 50-50 in the world of Macs and PCs. There would be more malware and security flaws discovered, but then again Apple would update their security criterias some more, they're not crazy :P

This is great like this, even if we represent just 9% of the computers, but we're missing some applications and companies lack support for OS X and lack of software choice. I'm talking about the engineering domain, because otherwise I've found everything I ever needed on the Mac. Where's AutoCAD, CATIA, Office apps like MS Project, MS Visio, etc.? (I know I can get nicer replacements for the last ones but you know )

They lowered them on laptops recently. The laptop I paid 1750 for in November last year is now at like 1466 with backlit keyboard, longer battery life, better processor, better monitor, SD card, Firewire.

This is pretty impressive for a price drop IMO. Also, for the whole package that you get, and just because you're getting the "peace of mind" by buying products, it's really worth it. I've never had a single problem with my iMac in 3 years now, and never had a single hiccup with my MacBook in 7 months either. (the first periods of time are always the worse!!!)

Price drops are also supposed to happen on iMacs soon.

Their price would need to be lowered to the point where it was in-line with competitors before the price argument will go away. You're saying that they dropped the price of their product nearly 300 dollars but the market is saying it's still 500 dollars too high.

PsykX said,
They lowered them on laptops recently. The laptop I paid 1750 for in November last year is now at like 1466 with backlit keyboard, longer battery life, better processor, better monitor, SD card, Firewire.

This is pretty impressive for a price drop IMO. Also, for the whole package that you get, and just because you're getting the "peace of mind" by buying products, it's really worth it. I've never had a single problem with my iMac in 3 years now, and never had a single hiccup with my MacBook in 7 months either. (the first periods of time are always the worse!!!)

Price drops are also supposed to happen on iMacs soon.

I think if Apple wants to succeed in the long term they are looking at a $799 dollar notebook. Period. Very few actually care about longer battery life, which is pretty debatable and with the newer Macs... kind of locked in. A back-lit keyboard is nice as well. I am not even going to justify the comments about better processor, LCD display, SD card slot and 1394a/b. You can pretty much get these in any run of the mill notebook. Most are between $500 and a $1000.

The same can be said of the iMac. I think a proper price point would be $599 for the 720p model and $800 for the LCD capable of doing 1080p.

Without these prices, the only purchasers of their products with become the hardcore fantastic. Apple has enough of their business. They really need to branch off, which they had been doing up until recently with significant mainline PC price drops. My guess would be that they are incapable of dropping their prices to this level. Without pricing similar to standardized PCs they will simply drop out of press coverage and began a slow to rapid decline of their much debated market share.

This could be my bias though. I really don't care what happens to Apple either way.

The problem is that to the average computer user (and contrary to my belief), Apple is considered to be the "Premium", and in a recession, "Premium" stuff is the first thing people stop buying.

  • Instead of champagne, you buy sparkling wine
  • Instead of Super unleaded, you buy regular unleaded
  • Instead of first class, you ride in standard coach
  • Instead of Apple, you buy Acer

Apple could save themselves a lot of hassle by just dropping their prices, but whether or not that will happen remains to be seen.

tss, tss .... Apple is not a "premium" brand anymore ( since they switched to Intel ) . Apple is only producing tuned pcs and in NO way they are producing some kind of elite computers, they're just overpriced.

If you look at the famous car analogy : Apple = tuned car ( standards components, with a nicer outside shell ) they're not mercedez or Rolls Royce.

kazuyette said,
tss, tss .... Apple is not a "premium" brand anymore ( since they switched to Intel ) . Apple is only producing tuned pcs and in NO way they are producing some kind of elite computers, they're just overpriced.

If you look at the famous car analogy : Apple = tuned car ( standards components, with a nicer outside shell ) they're not mercedez or Rolls Royce.

To a "common" consumer it is a premium brand. It's the perception that counts.

It's a bit of a no-brainer that they drop in position. When the recession started to kick in, what did Apple do? They RAISED their prices! Before the recession, an iMac was as low as £700 over here. Now, it starts from £950!

i hate the attitude/image apple presents, but i still want it to be strong so all the other companies don't get lazy and complacent. it's sad,but only apple seems to care about design, other companies seem to just do it because they have to, in order to stay competitive. i don't want to be associated with apple, but i can only see their losing market share as a bad thing

Dell and HP are on a ton of corporate desktops. I'm sure that helps their volume. As for me, I just bought a 13" MBP; my birthday present to myself.

azcodemonkey said,
Dell and HP are on a ton of corporate desktops. I'm sure that helps their volume. As for me, I just bought a 13" MBP; my birthday present to myself.

You must hate yourself.

Shiranui said,
You must hate yourself.

(snipped)

They are great machines, and unlike everyone else, they don't lie about battery life. the new MBP can get 10 hours, and not pretend hours, real hours with wifi and screen on.

Sure, there are nice Windows laptops out there as well, but there is so much rubbish.

cakesy said,
(snipped)

They are great machines, and unlike everyone else, they don't lie about battery life. the new MBP can get 10 hours, and not pretend hours, real hours with wifi and screen on.

Sure, there are nice Windows laptops out there as well, but there is so much rubbish.


@Shiranui apparently Apple lovers take life way to seriously and don't understand a joke.

Not only is there nice Windows laptops out there, but there are better ones than MBP's for less.

cakesy said,
(snipped)

They are great machines, and unlike everyone else, they don't lie about battery life. the new MBP can get 10 hours, and not pretend hours, real hours with wifi and screen on.

Sure, there are nice Windows laptops out there as well, but there is so much rubbish.

Yeah and how date non-apple hardware make batterieis I can remove and replace! Why do they have to make it so complicated for me to have to think omg someday I might have to change my battery.... seriously thought whats up with Apple and making hardware with battieries you cant replace and now moving that to the laptop lines?!

cakesy said,
(snipped)

They are great machines, and unlike everyone else, they don't lie about battery life. the new MBP can get 10 hours, and not pretend hours, real hours with wifi and screen on.

Sure, there are nice Windows laptops out there as well, but there is so much rubbish.

They don't even get close to ten hours. It is better than typical usage, but that would be an outright lie to say something like that. You might want to try actually using your computer rather than just letting it sit for ten hours while you look at the pretty display.

This from a company who has lied for years about ipod and iphone battery life as well.

Shiranui said,
You must hate yourself.

Nope. Not one bit. I've used Windows for years and will continue to do so. I make my money on Windows. I just prefer to not have to hassle with it when I'm at home. OS X does everything I need or want with much less pain. Albeit, I was impressed with Windows 7 recovering from a BSOD and no-start within 20 minutes. I'm glad MS finally got their **** together on system recovery. It still won't be as easy as recovering OS X, but it's a definite step forward. The only way MS will be able to make it easier is to dump backward compatibility completely - i.e. axe the registry, COM, allowing 3rd parties in the system folder, etc.

The only thing I "hate" is presumptuous ass-hats. I wouldn't even classify it as hate so much as just disappointment in the human race.

neufuse said,

Yeah and how date non-apple hardware make batterieis I can remove and replace! Why do they have to make it so complicated for me to have to think omg someday I might have to change my battery.... seriously thought whats up with Apple and making hardware with battieries you cant replace and now moving that to the laptop lines?!


Here's a hint: Sell it after 3 years and buy a new one.

Acer's growth is explained by Netbook sales, it is the only segment that is not falling. This also explains why Dell shipped 18.9% fewer PCs.

Apple desktop computer sales are dropping strong for sure but it's possible that Laptop sales are stile on a positive curve. Also the market changes. Phones become more and more important.

odd everybody cept Dell and Apple increased their unit shipments compared to last year. I don't honestly remember Dell being #1 last year at this time but I guess so. I wondering what they did then that they didn't do now to make them lose so many shipments, but yet still be #1.

As for Apple, meh that's about normal for them. At their best I don't think they can honestly expect to get more than 10% at any given time, but they still make a crapload of money so whatever works for them.

overall all the manufacters need to find better ways to attract customers, because computers are simply built to last longer these days and people are needing to replace them less.

Ha ha - this is great. I'm so sick of the Apple fanboys. I guess the over-priced "it's cool to pay too much just to be cool" idea is dying fast.

I guess people just want their money's worth now-a-days.

Tim Dawg said,
Ha ha - this is great. I'm so sick of the Apple fanboys. I guess the over-priced "it's cool to pay too much just to be cool" idea is dying fast.

I guess people just want their money's worth now-a-days.

they want options
and PC's are becoming quite cool with Windows 7 on the way, and notebook makers having nicer cases and better looking systems overall..which was apples only edge

Tim Dawg said,
I guess people just want their money's worth now-a-days.


And seems only thing needed for that is a economic crysis for them to see how they have been tool to for Apple so far...

Neoauld said,


they want options
and PC's are becoming quite cool with Windows 7 on the way, and notebook makers having nicer cases and better looking systems overall..which was apples only edge


well most people don't know anything about Windows 7. outside of tech enthuasists, the "average joe" has never heard of Windows 7 so that's not a factor. However notebooks are becoming alot better in design. I can't speak for all of the manufacturers but some of HP's designs are damn fantastic and innovative. They have done alot of things that Apple eventually did later but of course nobody mentions that and they have some things that Apple has still yet to do, the most obvious being the inclusion of blu-ray. I don't understand it, just like it took Apple forever to adopt cd-burners in the late 90s it's taking them forever to adopt blu-ray.

macrosslover said,


well most people don't know anything about Windows 7. outside of tech enthuasists, the "average joe" has never heard of Windows 7 so that's not a factor. However notebooks are becoming alot better in design. I can't speak for all of the manufacturers but some of HP's designs are damn fantastic and innovative. They have done alot of things that Apple eventually did later but of course nobody mentions that and they have some things that Apple has still yet to do, the most obvious being the inclusion of blu-ray. I don't understand it, just like it took Apple forever to adopt cd-burners in the late 90s it's taking them forever to adopt blu-ray.


I dont buy your average joe knows knothing about windows 7. They know tabout this windows 7 and how its better then vista but they dont know why its better.

Here at work i get asked about windows 7 by average joes all the time.

i wouldn't consider friends of mine 'Tech' enthuasists, or my brother... i had simply asked them myself to try Windows 7 out (they were using Vista) ... so far they won't switch back

i'd say a good few non-tech people know about 7

macrosslover said,
well most people don't know anything about Windows 7. outside of tech enthuasists, the "average joe" has never heard of Windows 7 so that's not a factor. However notebooks are becoming alot better in design. I can't speak for all of the manufacturers but some of HP's designs are damn fantastic and innovative. They have done alot of things that Apple eventually did later but of course nobody mentions that and they have some things that Apple has still yet to do, the most obvious being the inclusion of blu-ray. I don't understand it, just like it took Apple forever to adopt cd-burners in the late 90s it's taking them forever to adopt blu-ray.

Totally disagree. I have easily 10-20x the number of people coming in now asking about Windows 7. They might not exactly call it Windows 7, some call it Win 7, or even "that next version of Vista" or "that next version of Windows." But nonetheless they are quite aware of it and most are asking if their systems can run it and if they should move from XP to Vista or XP to Windows 7. This same period just before Vista came out, we didn't have anywhere near the same amount of people asking about the new OS. Microsoft seems to be doing something better (not right per se) in their advertising and educating.

Neoauld said,
they want options
and PC's are becoming quite cool with Windows 7 on the way, and notebook makers having nicer cases and better looking systems overall..which was apples only edge

Really? I bought a Mac because they're nice to look at? Well damn, might as well have bought a new case for my old PC.

ir0nw0lf said,
Totally disagree. I have easily 10-20x the number of people coming in now asking about Windows 7. They might not exactly call it Windows 7, some call it Win 7, or even "that next version of Vista" or "that next version of Windows." But nonetheless they are quite aware of it and most are asking if their systems can run it and if they should move from XP to Vista or XP to Windows 7. This same period just before Vista came out, we didn't have anywhere near the same amount of people asking about the new OS. Microsoft seems to be doing something better (not right per se) in their advertising and educating.

hmm I guess I work in a den of idiots then because I have nobody asking about it, everybody here is pretty mum on it.

In other words, Apple's 1984 dream of defeating the Big Blue (i.e the PC) is never going to materialize? So much for the commercials and promotions huh?

Agreed. I believe its because Apple still thinks that the majority of people will want to buy computers that have outrageous prices....especially when they are surrounded by non-Apple computers that show to work fine for A LOT LESS money.

Minimoose said,
they shouldn't be allowed to rip off people that much.

That's exactly why I will never support Apple no matter how superior their products may or may not be to others on the market. I will stick with open source and M$ when I have to. The corporate software title giants are still enjoying the assumption that many have about having to use a corporate entity to ensure trust and integrity of software products. My G1 does as much as an iPhone and yet I have not yet had to pay for a single downloaded app. From Audio & Video playback, antivirus to Remote Desktop. Apple fanboys can say whatever they want. I didn't spend 1/3 of what you have to spend to get the same service and apps from apple. Who's cool now? Macs were cool when wasting money was cool. Some of us never thought wasting money was cool.

I'm not actually making a point here but just calling it as I see it. Windows has AV playback, anti-virus and remote desktop free/bundled too.

They lowered their prices quite a lot on laptops recently. Same thing's supposed to happen with iMacs very soon.

As Minimoose said, the major thing Apple rips your off is the RAM upgrades. The rest is fine.

PsykX said,
They lowered their prices quite a lot on laptops recently. Same thing's supposed to happen with iMacs very soon.

As Minimoose said, the major thing Apple rips your off is the RAM upgrades. The rest is fine.


Really? All the prices on my Apple Store page are basically the same... dispite moving a MacBook to the MacBook pro line... thats about all the change I am seeing

Well I am going to quote myself from down there :

They lowered them on laptops recently. The laptop I paid 1750 for in November last year is now at like 1466 with backlit keyboard, longer battery life, better processor, better monitor, SD card, Firewire.

I was talking about my MacBook Unibody 13" versus the new MacBook Pro 13", and yes I had the students rebate, so you can add like $100 to both. 1850 and 1549.

Minimoose said,
The thing that annoys me the most is Apple's RAM prices, they shouldn't be allowed to rip off people that much.

If there's one thing that everyone can agree on (apparently) it is that Apple's hardware is overpriced.

tooshpz said,
In other words, Apple's 1984 dream of defeating the Big Blue (i.e the PC) is never going to materialize? So much for the commercials and promotions huh?


Yeah, Apple pretty much gave up the fight against the PC by putting OSX on PC hardware. LOL. I don't care what fanboys say, I don't see MAC providing a realistic alternative for the majority of computer users. Period. They provide a product that appeals to those who want to feel better than others by owning overpriced computers.