Apple shipped estimated 6.5M MacBooks in Q3

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Apple shipped an estimated 6.5 million MacBooks in the third quarter of 2021, increasing the company's slice of the notebook market on the back of strong demand for products like MacBook Air.

According to the latest estimates from research firm Strategy Analytics, MacBook shipments grew 10% year-over-year to capture a 10% share of the overall market. The performance puts Apple in fourth place behind Lenovo, HP and Dell.

Premium products like those offered by Apple gained momentum in the September quarter, boosting consumer spend in part thanks to hefty discounts on popular models including MacBook Air.

Lenovo topped the chart for a fourth consecutive quarter with 15.3 million notebooks shipped and a 23% share of the market, up 5% from 2020. HP followed with 14.3 million units shipped and a 21% marketshare, down 5% year-over-year, while Dell finished up 50% at 12.2 million shipments for an 18% slice of the pie.

Asus rounded out the top five with 5.1 million units shipped and an 8% share of the market, up 10% from the same time last year.

Overall, the notebook sector grew 8% year-over-year, a figure that would have been higher had it not been for component shortages, rising manufacturing costs and freight troubles, according to Strategy Analytics analyst Chirag Upadhyay

"The commercial customers' upgrade kicked in as some employees returned to in-person work with the target to improve productivity," Upadhyay said. "Education demand (including consumer) was better in the developed market as back to university discounts gave consumers good reason to upgrade now rather than later."

It should be noted that firms like Strategy Analytics do not have insight into Apple's supply or retail chains and provide estimates based on independent research. The methodology, and more importantly results, of market research firms have been brought into question in the past, with Apple executives dismissing the data as largely incorrect.

During Apple's quarterly earnings conference call last week, CFO Luca Maestri said Mac's trailing five quarters were the line's best ever. In the fourth fiscal quarter of 2021, which corresponds to the third calendar quarter, Mac revenue hit an all-time high of $9.1 billion, ticking up 1.6% year-over-year.

Like other manufacturers, Apple is battling the global chip crunch and warned investors that supply chain constraints will have a sizable impact on earnings in its first fiscal quarter of 2022. CEO Tim Cook said ongoing supply issues cost the company $6 billion in the most recent quarter.

Despite the continued parts pinch, Apple expects revenues to rise in all product categories save for iPad during the coming holiday period. A report earlier today claimed Apple is trimming iPad production to reallocate scarce parts to iPhone 13, which is expected to see heightened demand in the coming quarters.