Mac Shipments Up in Q3 2020 Amid Worldwide PC Market Growth

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Apple’s worldwide Mac shipments saw decent growth in the third quarter of 2020, according to new preliminary PC shipping estimates shared this afternoon by Gartner.

Gartner’s Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q20 (Thousands of Units)

Apple shipped an estimated 5.5 million Macs during the quarter, up 7.3 percent from the 5.1 million that it shipped in the third quarter of 2019. Apple’s marketshare grew from 7.5 percent to 7.7 percent, and while it fared well, some PC manufacturers saw even higher shipment growth.

Acer and ASUS, for example, saw significant growth with shipments increasing 29.5 percent and 12.9 percent, respectively, over 2019 shipment numbers. Neither sold enough PCs to topple Apple’s position as the number four worldwide PC vendor, however.

Lenovo, the number one worldwide PC vendor, shipped an estimated 18 million Macs, up from 16.9 million in the year-ago quarter for 8.3 percent growth. HP’s shipments were up slightly with 15.5 million Macs shipped, while Dell saw a slight decline, shipping 10.8 million PCs compared to 11.3 million in the third quarter of 2019.

Apple’s Market Share Trend: 1Q06-3Q20 (Gartner)

PC shipments were up this year due to the ongoing global health crisis, which has resulted in people working and learning from home.

“This quarter had the strongest consumer PC demand that Gartner has seen in five years,” said Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner. “The market is no longer being measured in the number of PCs per household; rather, the dynamics have shifted to account for one PC per person. While PC supply chain disruptions tied to the COVID-19 pandemic have been largely resolved, this quarter saw shortages of key components, such as panels, as a result of this high consumer demand.

Apple saw similar growth in the United States, shipping an estimated 2.4 million Macs in the U.S., up seven percent from the 2.3 million that it shipped in Q3 2019. Apple was also the number four vendor in the United States, trailing after HP, Dell, and Lenovo. All PC vendors in the U.S. saw growth, and the U.S. PC market was up 11.4 percent compared to the year-ago quarter, marking the most significant U.S. PC shipment growth in 10 years.

HP continues to be the number one U.S. vendor with 5.1 million PCs shipped, followed by Dell with 4.1 million PCs shipped, and Lenovo with 2.5 million PCs shipped.

Gartner’s Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q20 (Thousands of Units)

IDC also released its own shipment estimates this afternoon, which are wildly different from Gartner’s when it comes to Apple’s sales. According to IDC, Apple shipped an estimated 6.9 million Macs, up 38.9 percent from the 5 million shipped in the third quarter of 2019.

IDC also positions Apple as the number four worldwide vendor, trailing Lenovo, HP, and Dell. Gartner and IDC have different metrics for their measurements, which perhaps explains some of the discrepancy in numbers. Gartner counts desk-based PCs, notebook PCs, and ultramobile premiums, but not Chromebooks or iPads.

The numbers from IDC include desktops, notebooks, and workstations, but not tablets or x86 servers. IDC and Gartner’s data is based on estimates, and because Apple no longer provides specific breakdowns of Mac sales, it is difficult to confirm exact numbers.

Apple may see a surge in Mac sales in the coming months as it prepares to transition its entire Mac lineup from Intel’s chips to its Arm-based Apple Silicon chips. The first Macs with ‌Apple Silicon‌ chips are expected to arrive before the end of the year.

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