Apple's share of the worldwide PC market continued a steady decline in the third calendar quarter of 2016, with estimates from market research firms IDC and Gartner both seeing shipments down least 13 percent from last year.
Gartner estimates Apple took 7.2 percent of the worldwide PC market during the second quarter of 2016 on 4.9 million Mac shipments, down 13.4 percent from 7.8 percent and 5.7 million shipments in the year ago quarter. The fifth-place performance was the worst seen from a top-five vendor.
The downward trend might be linked to developing markets, where users are more likely to purchase portable devices rather than dedicated desktop or laptop computers.
"In emerging markets, PC penetration is low, but consumers are not keen to own PCs. Consumers in emerging markets primarily use smartphones or phablets for their computing needs, and they don't find the need to use a PC as much as consumers in mature markets," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.
Behind Apple is Acer, whose figures are even more dismal at 14.1 percent negative growth for the same period. The company garnered 6.7 percent of the market on 4.6 million unit shipments.
Retaining the top spot was Lenovo, which managed boost its stake of the worldwide market to 20.9 percent despite a 2.4 percent dip in shipment growth year over year. The Chinese company shipped 14.4 million PCs in the third quarter, Gartner said.
Second place HP grew shipments by 2.3 percent to end the quarter with 20.4 percent of the market, while Dell ranked third with a 14.7 percent share, up 2.6 percent year over year. Asus also saw positive growth of 2.4 percent to end the quarter with 7.8 percent of the market.
Overall, the worldwide PC market dipped 5.7 percent from the year ago quarter on weak back-to-school demand and continued low demand in both developed and developing markets, Gartner said.
As for the U.S. market, Apple was the only top-five vendor to post negative growth in the third quarter, dropping to fourth place with a 12.9 percent marketshare. The company shipped 2 million units, down 10.7 percent from last year. HP led in the U.S. with 4.8 million shipments and a 29.7 percent share of the market, while Dell landed in the No. 2 spot with a 24 percent share. Worldwide market leader Lenovo usurped Apple with a strong performance up 15.3 percent year over year. Asus rounded out the top five with a 5.1 percent marketshare on 824,000 shipments.
Estimates from IDC were largely similar to those from Gartner, showing Apple's share of the worldwide PC market dip 13 percent in the quarter ending in September.
Again, Apple is seen as posting the largest slowdown of any top-five vendor. Shipments came in at just over 5 million units, down 13 percent from last year's 5.8 million units. Apple managed to retain its spot in fourth place ahead of Asus, which saw 5.2 percent shipment growth to capture 6.9 percent of the market.
Like Gartner, IDC pegs Lenovo as the quarter's top vendor with a 21.3 percent marketshare despite a growth contraction of 3.2 percent. HP was close behind with 21.2 percent of the market on 14.4 million units shipped. Third place Dell grew shipments 6.2 percent year over year to end quarter three with 10.8 units shipped and 15.8 percent of the market, according to IDC.
For the U.S., the research firm estimates Mac shipment growth declined 13.2 percent to 2.1 million units shipped, good for 11.8 percent of the market. Knocking Apple into fourth place was Lenovo, which saw a 17 percent boost in shipments lead to 15.2 percent marketshare. HP shipped an estimated 5.3 million units to lead Dell's 4.6 million. Acer rounded out the top five with 765,000 units shipped, up 3.8 percent year over year.
Apple could halt the downward slide with an expected fall refresh of its popular MacBook lineup. The as-yet-unannounced release is expected to bring a hotly anticipated MacBook Pro revamp with OLED touchbar and ultra slim form factor. Other rumors suggest Apple plans to expand its MacBook thin-and-light series with a 13-inch model some time this year.