Worldwide PC market staggers in Q4 as Apple's Mac reaches new heights
According to its quarterly PC report for the fourth quarter of 2014, research firm IDC found Apple sold some 5.8 million Macs over the three-month period, bucking an overall negative trend for the market.
IDC on Monday released its preliminary report covering worldwide PC shipments for quarter four, estimating Apple Mac sales jumped 18.9 percent year-over-year to hit 5.8 million units shipped, equal to a 7.1 percent share of the market.
The strong results come three months after IDC reported Mac among the top five PC vendors worldwide for the first time ever. Prior to the third quarter of 2014, Apple had been a major player in the U.S. market, but had failed to break into the top-five worldwide.
Based on growth, Apple was the best performing OEM for quarter four followed by HP, which shipped 15.9 million units over the same period, a 15.1 percent change compared to 2013. Overall, however, IDC saw the worldwide PC market droop 2.4 percent on shipments of 80.8 million units.
Lenovo came in first with just over 16 million PCs shipped good for 19.9 percent of the market, up 4.9 percent year-over-year. HP came in second with 19.7 percent of the overall market. Third and fourth went to Dell and Asus, which saw a respective 10.9 million and 6.2 million shipments for 13.5 percent and 7.7 percent of the market. Apple finished fifth.
The biggest hit came from the "other" category, filled by smaller manufacturers like Samsung, Asus, Toshiba and more, which collectively saw a 20.7-percent dip in shipments year-over-year.
As usual, Gartner had slightly different numbers that did not include Apple as a top-five PC manufacturer, replacing the Cupertino, Calif., company with Asus. The competing research firm estimates Lenovo, HP and Dell led the worldwide market on shipments of 16.3 million, 15.8 million and 10.7 million units, respectively. Acer and Asus pulled up the rear with a respective 6.8 million and 6.3 million units shipped, Gartner said.
For Gartner, the overall outlook was in the black, but just so. For the fourth quarter of 2014, PC shipments held steady at a growth rate of one percent.
U.S. market numbers were more congruous as both IDC and Gartner agreed that HP, Dell, Apple and Lenovo, in that order, were the top four manufacturers. IDC reported Asus in fifth, while Toshiba took that spot of Gartner's list.
On the whole, the domestic market proved to be positive, with IDC finding a 4.7-percent growth rate year-over-year on 17.7 million units shipped, and Gartner finding a much more optimistic 13.1 percent on 18.1 million shipments.
Unlike other companies, Apple announces quarterly Mac sales in investor conference calls, the next being scheduled to take place on Jan. 27. AppleInsider will offer live coverage of event starting at 2 p.m. Pacific/5 p.m. Eastern.