First on TMO - Apple Q3 Global Market Share Falls to 1.8% as Competitors Post Strong Gains

by , 3:15 PM EDT, October 29th, 2004

Apple Computer's worldwide market share fell to 1.8% in the third quarter of this year from 2.1%, and dropped to 3.2% from 3.6% in the U.S., according to figures from research company Gartner. The numbers also showed dramatic declines in the quarter-to-quarter growth rate of Macs sold while Apple's Windows-based competitors saw double digit increases in the U.S and an almost 10% rise worldwide.

Apple worldwide market share falls to 1.8% from 2.1%

According to the numbers obtained first by The Mac Observer, Apple's worldwide market share ranking was tenth with a 1.8% share on unit sales of 836,300. In the second quarter, Apple posted a 2.1% share on sales of 879,900 Macintosh personal computers. During the same quarter last year, Apple had a 1.8% share after selling 791,100 Macs.

Compared to other PC vendors, Apple had a 5.0% decline in unit growth worldwide from the previous quarter. While Apple declined, its competitors gained 9.8% in unit growth from Q2. Year-to-year figures showed Apple with a 5.7% jump, as other vendors rose 9.8%.

No other PC vendor in the top ten posted a decline in year-to-year unit growth worldwide but Apple.

The leader in worldwide market share was Dell in first place with a 16.8% share, followed by HP with 15.0% and IBM at 5.6%.

Apple U.S. market share falls from 3.6% to 3.2%

In the U.S., Apple's ranking was sixth after its market share fell to 3.2% in the quarter on unit sales of 520,900 from 3.6% the previous quarter on 508,000 Macs sold. In Q3 of 2003, Apple had a market share of 3.1% after selling 474,5000 models.

Quarter-to-quarter growth for Apple was 2.5%. Competitors surged in the quarter with a 14.3% increase from Q2. In year-to-year figures, Apple climbed 9.8%, while its competitors rose 5.3%.

The leader in U.S. market share was Dell in first place with a 30.4% share, followed by HP with 19.1% and Gateway at 5.1%.

Apple Western Europe share drops .5%

But it was sales in Western Europe that had the most dramatic drop for Apple. The company's market share fell a half-a-percent to 1.5% in Q3, after a 2.0% share in Q2. Units sales plummeted by 29,500 to 147,300 from 176,800.

Compared to other PC vendors, Apple had a whopping 16.7% decline in unit growth in Western Europe from the previous quarter. While Apple declined, its competitors gained 11.2% in unit growth from Q2. Apple's growth year-to-year in Western Europe was off 0.7%, while other PC makers had a combined 13% rise.

The leader in Western Europe market share was HP in first place with a 16.6% share, followed by Dell with 10.8% and Acer at 7.2%.

All of the numbers - from total units sold to unit sales by geography - mirror those released by Apple on October 13. In those numbers, Apple reported Mac unit sales off 19% in Europe, and unchanged in America in Q3. Gartner did not release numbers for Japan, where Apple reported unit sales off 32% in Q3. The totals for all three geographic areas included sales of desktop, laptop and x-86 servers.

A contributing factor to the fall off in Mac sales worldwide was a shortage of G4-based consumer iMacs, after the company stopped making the older model and announced there would be a delay of more than 60 days before it would ship a new G5-based, flat-panel iMac. Apple said earlier this month iMac sales were off worldwide by 6%. In addition, a shortage of dual-processor G5 chips from manufacturer IBM also meant fewer Pro Mac systems were available to sell. As a result, Power Mac sales were off 10% in the quarter and most definitely had a negative affect on market share.

What makes the numbers most interesting is the fact that despite a 34% increase in Mac unit sales Q3 to Q2 at Apple's retail stores, the company's market share continued to decline in both the worldwide and U.S. figures.

The supposed 'halo affect' of Apple selling more Macs as a result of strong sales of its iPod and iPod mini digital music players does not appear to have had a positive effect on the company's market share in the quarter. Apple executives and a number of stock market analysts have mentioned the phenomenon in the past few months, but neither an analyst nor Apple have provided factual evidence to base this claim.

An Apple spokesperson had no comment when asked for reaction to the market share results.