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PC market decline decelerating, Apple holding firm

Mac Studio

According to an analyst note, the PC market has seen eight consecutive quarters of year-over-year shipment decline, with Apple holding on to its approximate 9% market share.

Apple's Mac sales have been variable based on new product releases, leading to a tough compare in Q4 2023. The overall PC market, however, has seen a more consistent year-over-year percent decline, though it's recovering.

According to a J.P. Morgan note seen by AppleInsider based on IDC data, the PC market is still in decline with an atypical quarter-over-quarter drop for Q3 to Q4 2023. This decline shouldn't be news to analysts as brands like HP and Dell warned of such market conditions, but the year-over-year change shows a positive trend.

Traditional PC shipments declined 2% from Q3 to Q4 2023, which is usually a positive change historically. Shipments declined 3% year-over-year in Q4 2023, the eighth consecutive quarter of declines.

A line graph showing the year-over-year percent change in traditional PC shipments, with fluctuations ranging from -29% to 56% between March 2019 and December 2023.
Traditional PC Shipments Y/Y % Change. Image source: JP Morgan

However, that single-digit decline is a positive trend, as previous year-over-year compares were at 8%, 13%, and 29% declines. HP and Lenovo are the only PC makers that grew market share sequentially in Q4 2023.

Apple's market share remained relatively flat, moderating from 10.6% to 8.5% across the quarters. Looking at the full-year basis, Apple's market share declined to 8.8% from 9.6%.

A line graph showing year-on-year percentage change in Mac revenue, with fluctuating values ranging from below -10% to above 60% between Q4 2015 and Q4 2023.
Y/Y % Change in Mac Revenue

Shipments and market share changes are dependent on Apple's asymmetrical release cycle. Products tend to arrive at different points throughout the year each year, leading to odd spikes and drops in year-over-year shipments. However, it all averages out with a consistent market share.

Apple is expected to announce new Macs running the M3 family of processors in the first half of 2024. These models could include updated MacBook Air models, an M3 Mac mini, and a Mac Studio.