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Apple U.S. PC Market Share Up .5% to 5th Spot, Study Shows

TMO Reports - Apple U.S. PC Market Share Up .5% to 5th Spot, Study Shows

by , 4:00 PM EDT, April 15th, 2005

Apple Computer took a jump from 3.2% to 3.7% in U.S. PC market share for the first quarter of 2005, according to the Gartner Dataquest research firm. The increase in shipments of Macs now puts Apple in fifth place among the top manufacturers.

Apple shipped 571,000 Macs to capture 3.7% of the market share, compared to 393,000, or 2.6% in the same quarter a year ago. Compared to the previous quarter, Apple market share expanded 0.5% from Q4 of 2004.Compared to a year ago, Apple unit shipments jumped 45.1% -- more than any of the top five U.S. PC makers, Gartner said.

"It was a great quarter for Apple," Charles Smulders, vice president of Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide Group, told The Mac Observer Friday. "It was driven primarily by sales of the consumer iMac category, which includes the Mac mini. They also had strong PowerBook sales as well."

Apple announced the Mac mini on January 11 and began selling it on Saturday, Jan. 22 in the U.S. and worldwide on Saturday, Jan. 29.

With only 69 days to sell the Mac mini in the fiscal second-quarter instead of 90 days, Mr. Smulders said the increase in market share, together with the popularity of the Mac mini was "impressive," but didn't want to crown the newest consumer Mac a success just yet.

"I remember the first quarter of sales for the Mac Cube were good too," he commented. "I think if we get a continuing increase in market share and units shipped this quarter and in the third quarter as much as we did in the calendar first quarter, I think we can then say the Mac mini is a success. This report is like the first weekend of a new movie. We've got to see if it's still popular next week."

Among other PC makers, Dell remains in the number one position, having sold 4.87 million PCs in the U.S. for a 32.0% share -- an 8.5% improvement for the same quarter a year ago. HP was second at 2.6 million units shipped, or a 17.2% market share. Gateway was third with a market share of 5.4% and IBM was fourth at 4.1%.

Of interest: Mr. Smulders said there had been "extremely strong demand" for laptop PCs in the first quarter across the U.S. and that was certain to have helped Apple's 3.7% market share. In the U.S. market, lower pricing drove sales of notebooks in the first quarter, however it was not enough to offset the declines in desktop PC shipments.

Preliminary market share figures for worldwide were also released, but Apple did not make the top five.

Dell was first worldwide, shipping 8.52 million units for a 16.9% market share. HP was second, shipping 6.99 million for a 13.9% share, IBM was third at 2.3 million units, or 4.6% share, and Fujitsu/Siemens was fourth with 2.0 million units shipped, or a 4.1% market share.

A final list for worldwide and U.S. will be released by Gartner in mid-May. The firms numbers are preliminary results and include the Americas segment of North, South and Central America. PCs in this category include deskbased PCs, mobile PCs and x86 servers.

Mr. Smulders noted that Dell's worldwide growth rate fell below 20% for the first time in 10 quarters, pulled down by weaker performance in the U.S. market. Still, Dell's shipments grew faster than the market average of 13.7%.

"I think Dell's drop off in growth is due to their reliance on the U.S. market, which was weaker, together with a greater focus on maintaining profitability rather than share during the quarter," Mr. Smulder commented. "I think this development will spur more discussions as to whether the direct sales model can compete with the low end of the PC market, such as say the Apple Mac mini."

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