Apple Crushes PC Market with 28% Growth in Mac Sales

Apple crushed the PC market in the March quarter, reporting 28% year-over-year growth in Mac unit sales. This compares to IDC’s report of a 3.2% decline in global PC sales for the quarter, meaning that Apple gained significant market share during the quarter. This is even more remarkable considering that IDC reduced its forecast for 2011 PC sales in part because of the impact that another Apple product, the iPad, is having on the PC market.

All told, Apple sold 3.76 million Macs during the quarter, up from 2.94 million Macs in Q2 2010. As you can see in the chart below, Apple has set a new record for Macs sales in the March quarter every year going back to 2003. Indeed, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer boasted that Apple has seen year-over-year growth for the last 20 consecutive quarters, each a quarterly record.

Apple Mac Sales Chart

Data compiled by The Mac Observer

“This result makes the March quarter the 20th consecutive quarter that we’ve outperformed the PC market,” Mr. Oppenheimer said during Apple’s quarterly conference call with analysts. ” We experienced strong Mac sales growth in each of our operating segments, most notably in the Asia-Pacific segment where Mac sales increased 76% year over year.”

Apple COO Tim Cook echoed this sentiment, saying, “It’s amazing when you see the 28% year over year versus the worldwide market on — in PCs contracting by three points. It’s an astonishing delta.”

The company cited the MacBook Air, which was updated in December, and the MacBook Pro line, which was updated during the March quarter, for the strong sales. Apple’s retail stores also saw strong growth of Mac sales. The company said it sold 797,000 Macs through its retail stores, compared to 606,000 Macs in the year-ago quarter, an increase of 32%.

Apple also reported very strong Mac growth in the Asia Pacific market of 76% year-over-year. “And yes, this is many multiples of the growth that that region is seeing for the market,” Apple COO Tim Cook told analysts. “I believe the IDC forecast is around 6%.”

Mr. Cook said that because Apple’s Mac market share is much lower outside the U.S. than it is in the U.S. (IDC pegged Apple’s March quarter market share at 8.5%, up from 7% in the year-ago quarter), that it represented a strong opportunity for additional growth.

“Our market share is obviously less outside the U.S. in most places than it is in the U.S.,” Mr. Cook said. “And so, I think that speaks very, very well to the opportunity that the Mac has. We have now had 20 quarters in a row where we’ve outgrown the PC market, and the momentum is still there, and we seem to be the only guys that are really focused on building innovative products in that space.”

In an age where iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, iOS, iTunes, and the App Store garner most of the headlines for Apple, the Mac continues to be a growing platform for the company, gaining market share in both the consumer space and corporate space (Apple’s presence in enterprise is still tiny).