Apple reclaims US' third biggest PC seller spot

Apple is now once again holding third place in the US PC market, sales figures from market watcher IDC have revealed. A return to form? Not quite, since its 5.6 per cent share is well below the double-digit share Apple commanded in the 1980s and early 1990s. Apple was also tied for third place with Gateway, which likewise took 5.6 per cent of the US PC market in Q2. Below them came Toshiba with 5.3 per cent and Acer with 5.2 per cent. No guesses as to which companies outsold these four.

Yes, Dell and HP continue to dominate, each outselling the Apple, Gateway, Toshiba and Acer combined. Dell took the lead with a 28.4 per cent share, while HP's tally hit 23.6 per cent. Like Formula One racing, the interesting battle in the US PC business is not for first or second place, but who'll get the remaining place on the podium and a share of the points. Here, Apple fans have plenty to shout about - for many, many years the Mac maker wouldn't warrant lifting outside the blanket 'Others' category, let alone get ahead of the likes of Acer and Toshiba.

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I think's it's healthy for apple to gain market share in the pc arena again. I don't see them being dominant though, those days have gone. 5.6%, while notable, is still way behind the big players in this field. Also, conisder that HP/Dell sell their hardware for different OS's, not just Microsoft's anymore.

I think the people who ought to be concerned are the likes of Acer, Levono, Mesh, Toshiba and the like. They stand to lose out unless they start innovating better and stop spilling out average products. That is why the competition from Apple is welcome because it will force others to get creative again and move things on. This isn't a fight between Apple and Microsoft, its about hardware vendors battling in a tough, profit-poor market.

I don't think there is anything wrong with switching to Apple (either for their hardware or to run OS X). It really is about person preference and what makes a person comfortable and productive.

I would very much like the idea of buying an OS-less computer from Apple. A really nice piece of hardware with the ability to install Mac OS, Windows or GNU/Linux drivers off from their website. I can, however, see some production issues involved (mainly in support and ease of operations).

Again, I think this is just me, however.

Glad to see Macs are selling well. Just got an MBP myself. Gotta love the student discount + iPod promotion

I hope that Apple never sells out OS X...it would just be another operating system. The Macs are phenominal, IMO. I mean to have things like Target Disk Mode and even just being able to transfer files only with a firewire cable. It's really great. Sure, I have Vista installed via Boot Camp, but I definately like OS X. And I have to thank the OSx86 project for getting me Hooked on Macs!

I am not really sure by what, "selling out OSX means?" I don't not, however, the real fear is having Mac OS sold at retail. I think the real danger (or at least recent internet conspiracy) is for Apple to:

1). Become a Windows OEM and sell a heavily customized version of Vienna with the classic OS interface and multiple subsystem personality installed as the default to allow for the running Windows, cocoa and Unix applications side by side without the use of virtual machines. The logic here is that virtual machines can slow hardware between 4% and 10% even when hardware virtualization is employed. Worse, while USB2 and directX is supported under the newest VM software like Parallels and VMware Fusion (it is still much slower and buggy than the actual host). This of course would not be logically given the current growing install base.

2). A more realistic option would be for Apple to just become a high end hardware dealer of the Windows OS like Alienware or Sony. The only question would be why? Probably only a select few people like me would be interested. I have a Macbook Pro and basically use it only to run...(gasp)...Windows Vista. I have recently been experimenting with way in which to completely remove OSX from the notebook, mostly because I use it as a mobile workstation and do not want the space wasted on multiple installs of the same program. I, however, am a very small minority of Apple users who like their hardware more than the actual OS.

3). Finally, Apple would offer their OS for the masses, the problem here, however, is resources. Apple simply does not have the capabilities for creating the contracts necessary to become the "mainstream OS."

Microsoft dictates the PC market (with about 94% ownership) and it can not even move people to Vista. They (Apple, Linux and others) will instead, continue to be viable options for people tired of the current market or longing for a niche player that does things "differently."

By selling out I did mean making it for the masses. They may not have the resources, but the Mac world would be a mess if they decided to go and open up the OS for all PCs.

I see where you're coming from with point 2. I think that would go against what they've been saying recently...but maybe if they went and allowed you to buy an OS-less computer from them (via phone or something, like Dell). Now that would be good for some.

For me, I'm quite happy with the switch I've made. I still use Vista and Ubuntu on my self-built desktop...and I do have Vista on the MBP. Maybe I've just become OS-numb? :P

srstakey said,
By selling out I did mean making it for the masses. They may not have the resources, but the Mac world would be a mess if they decided to go and open up the OS for all PCs.

Judging by the performance of iTunes and Safari on Windows I can only imagine how bad OSX would be on generic PCs. Apple coders are easily outclassed by mentally retarded monkeys.

GEIST said,
Yea, thanks to their iPod sales.

If you are not aware, Apple's main source of revenue and profit has always been their PC sales. They make very little profit off of iTunes and iPods. The reason they release all these products is to get you to tie into their PC's because they work the best with them (and they are right). People look at Apple like they should kiss the ipods ass or something when it isnt what "saved" them. Apple never needed to be "saved", never once in the 90's did Apple have any hint of being bought out or closing up shop, they were just focusing on a different market (education). Nothing has saved apple, they just have recently (last few years) come under the spotlight because people have become aware of the flaws in User Interfaces of other products. If you have ever watched a Steve Jobs screencast he pretty much spells out for you that all Apple really is, is a User Interface company. So what if they have PC hardware, so what if you cannot upgrade components as easily, their **** works and its very intuitive to use so good for them! No I am not a apple fanboy, I just hate when idiots do not know their ass from their face. :end:

I am having a hard time reading whether your comment is supposed to be sarcastic. As part of my own thought experiment, let us say that it wasn't. Apple was for most of the 90s facing some serious issues. They produced a vastly inferior OS that required a reboot every time you clicked an icon on the desktop. This changed with NeXT in 1997 (though not available until 2001).

#1 If they were concentrating on the educational market how come the majority of PCs (almost all) except for the iMac fade of late 98 to 99 were Gateways and Dells. Go take a look at the sales numbers from these years (at a local university) like Yale or the University of Minnesota (or any other institution of higher learning). It is really easily to get sales figures. Apple moved out of this market, mainly because corporations want people to have knowledge of Windows when entering the legal and business professions (and pretty much every other higher education field). This of course is less the case today (web, generally more open frameworks and many options).

#2 I remember (though I was young) countless rumors of Apple being brought out by (fill in a company). I think some of the big ones were Sony and Sun.

#3 They were trying for a long time to upgrade their system (remember Copland and Gershwin)? Other options being considered were Be OS, Sun, another rewrite (like Copland), or the NT kernel.

#4 Finally, I would not discount the sale of ipods because they can sell them to people who will never buy a Mac. This is by no means their mainline of revenue, but they make an massive profits on the device (though no the songs from iTS). They have to sell about six ipods to make the same distribution within a single sale of a laptop. This is doable given that only about 24% of ipod and iphone users own a Mac. I think it is safe to say that the Apple is diverging into media (mostly to sell to PC users) and not convert them to the Macintosh platform. Your assessment of the user interface being the key, however, was dead on (this is why people buy their products). Not only do they like nice but they are higher functional.

Your statements on Apple's economic history seems to be a bit of historical revisionism (i.e. never having cash flow or development problems).

bluarash said,
Apple was for most of the 90s facing some serious issues. They produced a vastly inferior OS that required a reboot every time you clicked an icon on the desktop.

Bit of an exaggeration, dontcha think? Interface-wise the Mac OS (Classic or OS X) has never been inferior to Windows. OS 9 did have some stability issues, but then so did Windows.

I don't really believe that Windows 95 or 98 really looked that bad when compared to class Mac OS. It was certainly was more functional. I was actually referring to API and subsystem design, however. System 7 to Mac OS 9 was not very stable. It could be correlated to a bad Windows install with 16bit device drivers. This, however, would be a little more complicated because a stock Windows install was doing much more complex things (registry, integrated background tasks), while the classic Mac OS was a more simplified, streamlined process.

Further, classic Mac OS did not support a descent mode of task switching, lacked preemptive multitasking, very poor memory management and and its API was very poorly defined. This of course has all changed since OS X was introduced (a little over a year after Windows 2000 hit the market). Worse, OS X was not really mainstream until version 10.3 in 2003, well after the launch of XP.

serox said,

If you are not aware, Apple's main source of revenue and profit has always been their PC sales. They make very little profit off of iTunes and iPods. The reason they release all these products is to get you to tie into their PC's because they work the best with them (and they are right). People look at Apple like they should kiss the ipods ass or something when it isnt what "saved" them. Apple never needed to be "saved", never once in the 90's did Apple have any hint of being bought out or closing up shop, they were just focusing on a different market (education). Nothing has saved apple, they just have recently (last few years) come under the spotlight because people have become aware of the flaws in User Interfaces of other products. If you have ever watched a Steve Jobs screencast he pretty much spells out for you that all Apple really is, is a User Interface company. So what if they have PC hardware, so what if you cannot upgrade components as easily, their **** works and its very intuitive to use so good for them! No I am not a apple fanboy, I just hate when idiots do not know their ass from their face. :end:

little profit of the ipod? you seen ipod profit margin the ipod nano 8gb is still selling in some places for 280$
many LG (with touch screen) samsung are 8gb are down the 200$ now, and u think they don't get profit from that? dream on.
apple is milking their fans each cent

This weekend I spent most of the time in the shop again playing almost with all available laptops in Lithuania. They all have pre-installed Windows Vista and I was trying to convince myself that Mac is weak, but Vista is killing most of laptops performance. While Mac works so smooth with what it has and that isn't much.

I don't say that Macs are so good, I just want to say that they have that golden middle the user wants.

david13lt said,
but Vista is killing most of laptops performance. While Mac works so smooth with what it has and that isn't much.

Vista performs better than XP in a new laptop. I use a HP laptop & it works very well...and if you need a perfect one go for Sony Vaio high end version..(cost may be equivalent to a macbook), but looks great than macbook!

Did you try ever to replace the hard drive in that VAIO? It's pain in the ass, and a bunch of screws... Maybe 20-30 (even). You need to take it apart fully to get to HDD and the should be with memory. Because of this, I would never buy it.

Glad to hear they are regaining some ground. I like to see competition. It's healthy.


Speaking about healthy business practices...

Open - Source software is what makes the IT industry move forward... If you look closely for those who aren't in the know...

Most of what you see in the commercial products I.E. Microsoft OS's and Mac. were first seen in open-source OS's

If open - source didn't exist we would be stuck with the slow pace of normal businesses... where by they control what is released and just keep adding new features slowly in their OWN time span...to get all the sales they can.

Take Hardware for example...

Just look at mp3 players or Cell Phones.. there are features that could've been in the phones and mp3 players 4 years ago but instead the company's release them slowly to gain more revenue. a bit by bit release each year... why release a device with every possible feature now when you could gradually release different versions each year and sell more.


The beauty with open-source is the consumers can push the market to what they want to see NOW... and they are always developing new features faster than the commercial companies.

I agree. I love Apple's open source ipod framework that Apple (proper updates to the firmware), even better is the ability to playback and purchase (legally) from the iTunes Store under GNU/Linux. What I really like, however, is the openness of the drivers for the Macbook and Mac Book Pro (mine) series of computers. It is wonderful how Apple has published all the specs that allows me to run GNU/Linux (or for that matter Windows) heavily optimized on my MBP. In the past, the systems worked, but now with Apple providing a space just for open source people at linux.apple.com we can download the latest binary drivers and get the source code for them too. Way to go Apple!!!.

Neomac v6 said,
Ah, so market share increasing = dying. Gotcha!

Actually, I must admit that market share doesn't necessarily mean success. Look at Dell: it's in the top spot and it's losing money like crazy. At least Apple has decent margins on its niche share. And the iPod is admittedly helping, and the iPhone will help even more.

But OS X is going to become even more dominant, with Macs, the iPhone, next-gen iPods and AppleTV. Apple is executing on multiple fronts and the competition don't have a clue how to respond.

Neomac v6 said,

Actually, I must admit that market share doesn't necessarily mean success. Look at Dell: it's in the top spot and it's losing money like crazy. At least Apple has decent margins on its niche share. And the iPod is admittedly helping, and the iPhone will help even more.

But OS X is going to become even more dominant, with Macs, the iPhone, next-gen iPods and AppleTV. Apple is executing on multiple fronts and the competition don't have a clue how to respond.

Yeah, you keep kissing that AppleTV... It'll turn into a prince someday...

I guess if you've never been in a store other than the Apple store you don't realize there are many far better and less expensive options offered by the competition.

Now they're just another PC manufacturer. Soon they'll probably just produce their OS instead of the also the computers as well.

LOL, yeah, whatever man. Would you like a pillow with that dream?

Apple's claim to OS stability comes from tight integration between software/hardware. Without the hardware it would just be another Windows-like OS with all the associated driver/compatibility issues.

tibi08 said,
Let's hope not, one of the best things about Macs are the hardware.

Which is the same as a PC, except more expensive. I don't see any reason Apple should restrict the choice of hardware as they do currently - the sooner they allow OSX to run on generic PCs the better (and I do see it as inevitable).

theyarecomingforyou said,

Which is the same as a PC, except more expensive. I don't see any reason Apple should restrict the choice of hardware as they do currently - the sooner they allow OSX to run on generic PCs the better (and I do see it as inevitable).


do you own a clone-pc?... do you want to upgrade, then buy some memory chip, hd, video card or even a new cpu for your socket. For example my actual pc (athlon 64) 2000@2500mhz 1024mb is a grand grand grand grand grand grandchild of a old Intel 386SX with a awesome 2mb ram and 25mhz. how many PC i buyed since 1994? just one!. ;-)

do you own a MAC?... do you want to upgrade, then buy a brand new machine!. May be the sales of MAC are because this reasons, also because many mac users are consume wh*re!.


tibi08 said,
Let's hope not, one of the best things about Macs are the hardware.

Before, but now they're making PCs.

LTD said,
LOL, yeah, whatever man. Would you like a pillow with that dream?

Apple's claim to OS stability comes from tight integration between software/hardware. Without the hardware it would just be another Windows-like OS with all the associated driver/compatibility issues.

Yet another oblivious fanboy you are. I remember the Crashentosh all to well. Your god is dying so you can stop worshiping it.

Magallanes said,


do you own a clone-pc?... do you want to upgrade, then buy some memory chip, hd, video card or even a new cpu for your socket. For example my actual pc (athlon 64) 2000@2500mhz 1024mb is a grand grand grand grand grand grandchild of a old Intel 386SX with a awesome 2mb ram and 25mhz. how many PC i buyed since 1994? just one!. ;-)

do you own a MAC?... do you want to upgrade, then buy a brand new machine!. May be the sales of MAC are because this reasons, also because many mac users are consume wh*re!.


English please?

Foub said,
Yet another oblivious fanboy you are. I remember the Crashentosh all to well. Your god is dying so you can stop worshiping it.
Ah, so market share increasing = dying. Gotcha!

Incidentally, Macs never crashed worse than PCs. And since OS X, they don't crash much at all!

Magallanes said,
do you own a clone-pc?... do you want to upgrade, then buy some memory chip, hd, video card or even a new cpu for your socket. For example my actual pc (athlon 64) 2000@2500mhz 1024mb is a grand grand grand grand grand grandchild of a old Intel 386SX with a awesome 2mb ram and 25mhz. how many PC i buyed since 1994? just one!. ;-)

do you own a MAC?... do you want to upgrade, then buy a brand new machine!. May be the sales of MAC are because this reasons, also because many mac users are consume wh*re!.

Lol I really like your examples and word choices.

Neomac v6 said,
Ah, so market share increasing = dying. Gotcha!

One word: iPod. That's what is saving Apple now. Luckily it runs on any computer. Plus, it has shifted over to being a PC now as well so it is bound to go up some now that more people can use them. My sister has a new Macbook, she runs XP home on it.

Incidentally, Macs never crashed worse than PCs. And since OS X, they don't crash much at all!

Depends on which of the many OSes you can get for the PC (Which also includes OS X as well now). You are confusing OS with hardware. That is not to be unexpected since Mac users never really had much of a choice before so they associate OS with hardware.

Foub said,

One word: iPod. That's what is saving Apple now. Luckily it runs on any computer.

The iPod is not included in PC sales numbers, so there goes your argument. Thanks for playing though.

Foub said,
My sister has a new Macbook, she runs XP home on it.

She'll come round soon enough. She's made the first step! You just stick with your OS-limited peecee.

roadwarrior said,
The iPod is not included in PC sales numbers, so there goes your argument. Thanks for playing though.

But without the presence of the iPod Mac sales would be nowhere. Thanks to the iPod the media is now saturated with references to Apple, which has rubbed off as sales for Mac.

Magallanes said,


do you own a clone-pc?... do you want to upgrade, then buy some memory chip, hd, video card or even a new cpu for your socket. For example my actual pc (athlon 64) 2000@2500mhz 1024mb is a grand grand grand grand grand grandchild of a old Intel 386SX with a awesome 2mb ram and 25mhz. how many PC i buyed since 1994? just one!. ;-)

do you own a MAC?... do you want to upgrade, then buy a brand new machine!. May be the sales of MAC are because this reasons, also because many mac users are consume wh*re!.

yeah, i bought my first PC in 1996.

my Athlon 64 3000+ w/ 2 Gigs of RAM is my upgraded Cyrix PR150 w/ 64 Megs RAM system. just had to buy a new case here, a new motherboard there, a bit more ram here, etc.

eventually it will be a dual or quad core system, have 4 gigs or more of ram, and a DX10 video card. it will still be my upgraded 1996 Cyrix system though!

Magallanes said,


do you own a clone-pc?... do you want to upgrade, then buy some memory chip, hd, video card or even a new cpu for your socket. For example my actual pc (athlon 64) 2000@2500mhz 1024mb is a grand grand grand grand grand grandchild of a old Intel 386SX with a awesome 2mb ram and 25mhz. how many PC i buyed since 1994? just one!. ;-)

do you own a MAC?... do you want to upgrade, then buy a brand new machine!. May be the sales of MAC are because this reasons, also because many mac users are consume wh*re!.

Own a Mac. Wanna upgrade. Buy more memory, or add a HD or video card, or heck, add a new TMP compatible CPU. Also, have you ever thought that a person's time can be worth more than a PC, and that buying a PC is cheaper than building once when you factor in time? I have been buying PCs since well before 1994, and I have only "upgraded" here and there. When I need more throughput (CPU + Bus + peripherals) I buy a new PC... it is cheaper.

Xenomorph said,
eventually it will be a dual or quad core system, have 4 gigs or more of ram, and a DX10 video card. it will still be my upgraded 1996 Cyrix system though!

That statement, and the one you replied to, are easily the dumbest sounding comments on Neowin. Congrats to you both!!

Neomac v6 said,
She'll come round soon enough. She's made the first step!

She has no interest at all in OS X.

You just stick with your OS-limited peecee.

OS limited PC? What planet have you been living on? Oh, Planet Apple.

roadwarrior said,
The iPod is not included in PC sales numbers, so there goes your argument. Thanks for playing though.

Than it must be all those people installing XP instead of OS X. Still third place isn't all that good either when you use to be first oh so long long long ago.

Foub said,
OS limited PC? What planet have you been living on? Oh, Planet Apple. :rolleyes:

Macs are the only computers that can run all operating systems legitimately and reliably. Of course, I'd never bother with anything besides OS X, but they still make damn nice Windows machines if you're that way inclined. Just have to wait for Windows to catch up in areas like Target Disk Mode.

Neomac v6 said,

... Just have to wait for Windows to catch up in areas like Target Disk Mode.

and getting rid of the awful registry, DLL Hell and actually having to install the majority of programs. THAT is what's wrong with Windows.

roadwarrior said,

That statement, and the one you replied to, are easily the dumbest sounding comments on Neowin. Congrats to you both!!

i think he was being sarcastic

Now, Billy, that's not nice. We use our words when we want something! Come on Billy, use your words and tell momma what you want!

Sorry, with a comment like that, I can't resist.