TMO Exclusive - Apple Worldwide Marketshare Inches to 2.5%; Mac mini a Strong Factor

by , 7:00 AM EDT, July 27th, 2005

Apple Computer's share of the worldwide personal computer market grew 34.8% in the second quarter, inching up just a fraction to 2.5% from 2.2% a year ago, research company IDC has told The Mac Observer. Much of Apple growth was spurred by help from sales of the iPod digital media device and continuing strong acceptance of the Mac mini.

The worldwide Q2 results put Apple in 8th place behind the likes of Dell, HP and Gateway. Apple's 2.5% share in calendar Q2 is also a slight increase over the 2.3% share it had in the first quarter of this year.

In terms of overall growth, Apple showed a 34.8% growth over the same quarter last year, and a 10.1% growth spurt from the first quarter.

"35% is pretty solid worldwide growth," Loren Loverde, Director of IDC's Worldwide PC Tracker Program, told The Mac Observer. "That's positive for Apple. In perspective, a couple of percent share points in the worldwide market isn't going to make them world market leaders, in the short term. What you want to see a string of consistent growth where you're going ground. In Apple's case, they've had 30-plus percent growth the last couple of quarters, but it's only been a couple of quarters. What they want to do is continue that string. Aside from the total magnitude of the growth, they have seen some good international growth, which they have needed."

Apple continues to sell well over one million Macs worldwide in each of the first two quarters of this year. Apple shipped 1,173,000 computers in calendar Q2, said IDC, up from 1,065,000 in Q1. In comparison, Apple shipped 870,000 Macs in the second quarter of 2004.

In terms of worldwide marketshare numbers, Dell continues in the No. 1 spot with a 19.3% share, up 23.7% from a year ago period. HP took second at 15.6% with a 16.3% growth spurt, Lenovo took third at 7.6% marketshare on a 271.3% growth jump, and Acer took fourth with a 3.7% share, or growth of 62.2% from a year ago.

The worldwide numbers come just a week after strong U.S. second quarter results. Apple's share of the P.C. market in the U.S. took a dramatic 22% jump in the second quarter, surging to 4.5% from 3.7% a year ago, IDC reported at the time. After further calculations, IDC has adjusted Apple's Q2 U.S. marketshare, lowering it slightly to 4.4%, TMO has learned.

Mac mini selling extremely well

Mr. Loverde said factors that helped propel Apple to a higher international market share were its iPod digital media device, consumer interest in its iTunes Music Store and strong sales of its entry-level consumer P.C., the Mac mini.

Although final calculations have not been completed, Mr. Loverde told TMO it appears some 15% of Apple's overall Mac desktop sales volume for Q2 came from sales of the Mac mini worldwide. If that number holds true, it would be the same percentage the Mac mini posted internationally in the previous quarter.

"It's been pretty solid for a new product and that's a decent rise," he said. "It's continuing to get positive customer attention and I would expect its sales volumes to stay strong for some time."

Beginning with its fiscal second quarter, Apple stopped breaking down sales figures of each product, resorting to grouping them together into families. As a result, there has been no firm indication of just how well the Mac mini has done, other than verbal comments by Apple executives that they have been "pleased" with its acceptance.

If IDCs Mac mini sales figures are correct, the company sold a little over 103,000 Mac mini's in the calendar second quarter, based on total desktop sales of 687,000. The IDC results are the first and only indication that the Mac mini started strong since its introduction last January and has remained so ever since.

More 'halo' evidence?

Mr. Loverde said the worldwide numbers are further evidence of what many have called the 'halo effect' -- the notion that strong sales of iPods will spill over into sales of Macs.

"It seems they are seeing some real connection between the success of their online music business and the iPod and their P.C. business," he commented. ""It's hard to make that statement conclusively, but just based on the publicity that they've received from the music sector and the change in growth over the last couple of quarters, which has been quiet remarkable, it seems to coincide pretty well with the visibility of the music business. I think it's safe to say that there is some element of a halo affect."

Analysts have routinely cited the factor in bolstering their outlook of Apple, but to date Apple has refused to publicly release data proving the phenomenon really exists.