Apple’s US Market Share Declines Slightly In 2003 & Fourth Quarter

Appleis market share continued to deteriorated in the US last quarter and for the year 2003 overall, according to data released by technology market intelligence firm IDC. Appleis domestic market share fell fractionally to 3.2 percent from 3.5 percent in 2002 and its calendar fourth-quarter numbers fell 0.2 percent from the previous year to 2.8 percent.

In terms of actual position versus its Windows-based competitors, Apple placed fifth in US market share for 2003 behind Dell with 30.9 percent market share, Hewlett-Packard with 20.6 percent in second place, IBM in third with 5.2 percent, and Gateway in fourth place with 3.8 percent.

According to IDC numbers, Apple shipped 1,765,000 CPUs in 2003, compared to just a fraction more of 1,679,000 in 2002. In the calendar fourth-quarter, Apple shipped 409,000 units compared to about 411,000 units in 2002. Apple announced yesterday that the company shipped 829,000 Macs during the quarter, but those numbers include worldwide sales. Todayis figures from IDC are US-only.

In calendar fourth-quarter results, obtained exclusively by The Mac Observer, Apple placed seventh in rank behind Dell, HP, IBM, eMachines, Gateway and Toshiba.

US PC Shipments, Calendar 4th Quarter, 2003 (Preliminary)
Rank Vendor Q4 2003 Shipments Market Share Q4 2002 Shipments Market Share Growth
#7
Apple
409,000
2.8%
411,000
3.0%
-0.2%

US PC Shipments, Calendar 2003 (Preliminary)
Rank Vendor 2003 Shipments Market Share 2002 Shipments Market Share Growth
#5
Apple
1,675,000
3.2%
1,679,000
3.5%
-0.2%

IDC analyst Roger Kay told The Mac Observer that although Appleis market share was down fractionally, this small decline has been a trend over the past three years.

"This gentle decline has pretty much been the pattern for Apple over the years," Kay said. "Appleis changing emphasis to computing entertainment is part of that reason, in my opinion."

Kay also believes that Appleis slow decline in market share has more to do with the rest of the PC industry growing faster. "It isnit that Apple isnit growing. Itis just that they are not growing as fast."

Kay also believes that although Apple products are more expensive that traditional Windows-based PCs, trends in the WinTel world have played a role in Apple adjusting pricing to be more competitive. "eMachines and HP fought it out for the best prices at Christmas time. Apple benefited from that a little by making their pricing and added ease-of-use a factor."

The US numbers are preliminary, and IDC will release their final assessments in the coming weeks. In addition, final numbers for worldwide sales for 2003 and the calendar fourth-quarter of 2003 will be released next week.

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