- Thomson Reuters
Apple’s Mac line of computers – which includes MacBook laptops and iMac desktops – just had its slowest sales quarter since the same period in 2013, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing the latest analyst estimates.
The overall PC market has been shrinking for some time, and that did not change in the third quarter, with worldwide shipments dipping 10.8% to 71 million units, according to the analyst firm IDC.
Apple continued its streak of consistently bucking that trend, with worldwide shipments down only 3.4% in Q3, shipping an estimated 5.3 million units compared with 5.5 million units a year ago, according to IDC.
(While the research firm Gartner estimated that Apple’s PC shipment increased 1.5% year-on-year in the third quarter, The Journal noted that that represented its slowest growth rate since Q3 2013).
Even as Apple Mac shipments slowed, other PC manufacturers fared even worse, meaning Apple’s overall market share in the third quarter increased to 7.6% from 6.9% in the third quarter last year, Gartner said.
But it’s still Apple’s worst performance since Q3 2013, according to the Journal report.
Apple recovered its lost ground after that stumble two years ago, and perhaps it will do so again. But Apple must be acutely aware that it can’t outrun the fate of the PC market, which is expected to keep shrinking until at least 2017.
It’s probably a big part of why Apple introduced the iPad Pro, a tablet that works like a laptop. As with Microsoft and Google, Apple is attempting to stay ahead of the curve, as people turn to touch-screen devices and mobile for their computing needs.