Growing up, we’re taught a sense of equality, not to pick favorites, but when it comes to technology, that mindset goes right out the window. Everyone has their favorite computer brand, and it’s hard to deviate from that favoritism; a message that is backed by data from multiple research firms that reported Apple Macintosh brand PCs and Macbooks are still outperforming all rivals, despite experiencing the company’s lowest sales in two years.
The Wall Street Journal reported the Q3 2015 estimates of Gartner, a global leader among IT data and advisory companies. Interestingly enough, International Data Corp. (IDC), another world leader in IT research, posted similar, yet disparate results for the California-based technology brand. But despite their differences in opinions of sales, the overall outlook for Apple remained the same.
Apple Mac Shipments, More or Less
According to Gartner, Apple Mac computers and their portable Macbook cousins increased from 5.5 million units shipped in Q3 2014 to 5.6 million in Q3 2015. The company’s market growth rose from 6.9% to 7.6% in the same timeframe, representing an overall year-over-year growth rate of 1.5%.
IDC’s results weren’t far off that mark, although the firm estimated Apple’s PC and notebook sales a bit lower. IDC said shipments of Mac computers fell 3.4% to just 5.3 million in Q3 2015 (opposed to the minimal increase reported by Gartner).
Regardless of the discrepancy in estimated sales, that still leaves Apple PCs with two distinguishing marks. Not only did both research analysts report that Apple saw sales dropping by the widest margin since 2013, the company also experienced the largest overall rate of growth in the global PC market.
Apple ranks 4th in Market Share
Gartner reported that Lenovo has the highest market share of 20.3%, up from 19.6% last year, but the company’s shipments fell 4% year-over-year. HP, which has the second highest market share of 18.5% (up from 17.8% in Q3 2014) also saw a 4% decline in shipments.
The only other PC maker to receive a positive rate of growth was Dell. The industry’s third highest share leader, Dell experienced a 0.5% rate of growth, shipping just 54,000 more units than the previous year’s quarter.
That leaves Apple in 4th place in market share, but number one in growth, according to Gartner.
Analysts Speculate Apple’s Performance
Gartner’s Principal Analyst, Mikako Kitagawa, attributed the heightened value of the US Dollar to diminishing sales in other regions of the world, where Apple computers have become more expensive, despite a relatively steady worth of currency.
“The global PC market has experienced price increases of around 10 percent throughout the year, due to the sharp appreciation of the U.S. dollar against local currencies,” explained Kitigawa. “In the third quarter of 2015, this continued to be a major cause for weaker demand in those regions.” He said Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Japan and Latin America suffered the largest regional impacts, posting “double-digit declines in the third quarter.”
IDC analysts Jay Chou offered similar sentiments, blaming the dropoff in international sales to a stronger US dollar, resulting in more expensive price tags on Apple Mac and Macbook products in other regions.
Official sales figures won’t be released until October 27, when Apple issues its quarterly financial results for Q3 2015.