Apple had 4.1 percent of the total notebook computer market sales by units for the 4th calendar quarter of 2006, placing them 9th overall. While the unit numbers were down compared to the previous quarter, 969,000 vs. 986,000 in Q3, the year over year sales were up dramatically, according to a report published by DisplaySearch*, Unit sales in 4Q05 were 587,000, so the year over year growth was 68 percent.
Sales data provided to The Mac Observer by John Jacobs, Director of Notebook Market Research, showed, however that the notebook market grew by 14 percent from Q3 2006 to Q4 2006, but Appleis sales declined slightly. There is a consideration that could cause this effect.
Mr. Jacobs told TMO that, historically, Apple customers pay close attention to Apple, its products, and rumor sites. They know that Macworld comes up in January and that typically slows down sales in the fourth calendar quarter in anticipation of new products.
"Even so," Mr. Jacobs said, "the halo effect doesnit seem to be happening. If it were a strong force, Appleis notebook sales should be increasing at the same rate as the market." In the short term, due to Appleis way of announcing new products, that may be true. But Appleis notebook sales, year over year, have, in fact, beaten the overall market growth by a wide margin, 68 percent compared to 28 percent.
Dell has had its share of troubles. Dellis notebook sales dropped from 3,573K units in Q3 to 3,517K units in Q4. Year over year sales increase was only about four percent. Hewlett-Packard, on the other hand, did extremely well in 2006. Their unit numbers for the four quarters of 2006 were: 2,981K, 2659K, 3624K, and 4689K units. Clearly, Hewlett Packard has become a force to contend with in notebook sales in the last year.
Here are the total sales by units for 4Q 2006:
- HP: 4689K
- Dell: 3517K
- Acer: 3104K
- Toshiba: 2299K
- Lenovo: 1975K
- Fujitsu-Siemens: 1247K
- Sony: 1177K
- Asus: 1040K
- Apple: 969K
"What Apple really wants to do now is see sustained incremetal growth in every quarter," Mr. Jacobs concluded.
* DisplaySearch is owned by NPD. Global sales numbers are voluntarily supplied by the vendors. The unit numbers here are for MacBook and MacBook Pro only.