Apple's Mac Stomps PC Industry with 18.9% Growth and 7.1% Global Share

Apple has once again stomped on the PC industry, posting 18.9 percent year over year growth in the December quarter of 2014, according to research firm IDC. With 5.75 million Macs sold during the quarter, Apple retained its #5 global ranking with 7.1 percent market share.

That's not bad for a company doomed to failure unless it licenses the Mac and joins all the other PC makers in the race to the bottom.

The market as a whole shrunk 2.4 percent, with all of that decline coming from the ill-defined and unsourced "Others" category, which fell 20.7 percent. The other members of the Top 5 all saw year-over-year growth, though only HP's growth was even close to Apple's, as shown in the chart below.

"Apple kept the number 5 position on a worldwide basis, maintaining its lead over ASUS," IDC said in its report. "The company's steady growth, along with recent price cuts and improved demand in mature markets, has helped it to consistently outgrow the market."

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide PC Shipments, 2014 (Preliminary)
(Units Shipments are in thousands)


4Q14 Market


4Q13 Market


1. Lenovo 16,049 19.9% 15,294 18.5% 4.9%
2. HP 15,880 19.7% 13,796 16.7% 15.1%
3. Dell 10,879 13.5% 10,026 12.1% 8.5%
4. Acer Group 6,220 7.7% 6,026 7.3% 3.2%
5. Apple 5,750 7.1% 4,838 5.8% 18.9%
Others 25,994 32.2% 32,798 39.6% -20.7%
Total Market 80,772 100.0% 82,778 100.0% -2.4%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, January 12, 2015

Apple has been outgrowing the PC market for years, now, and Q4 performance merely continues that trend. The idea, however, that Apple could have more than 7 percent of the global market is, frankly, astounding.

This becomes even more important when one considers that Apple competes almost exclusively on the highest of the high end of the market. Apple's cheapest Mac mini starts at $599, well above the average selling price of roughly $400 for PCs. And the Mac mini is not Apple's best selling Mac.


IDC also reported yearly numbers for U.S. According to the firm, Apple sold some 8.085 million Macs in calendar 2014. That was enough to make Apple the #3 computer maker in the U.S., with 12.2 percent share, just behind HP and Dell. That represents 11.4 percent growth compared to 2013.

Top 5 Vendors, United States PC Shipments, 2014 (Preliminary)
(Units Shipments are in thousands)


2014 Market


2013 Market


1. HP 18,332 27.6% 16,160 25.5% 13.4%
2. Dell 16,158 24.3% 14,055 22.1% 15.0%
3. Apple 8,085 12.2% 7,255 11.4% 11.4%
4. Lenovo 7,100 10.7% 6,195 9.8% 14.6%
5. Toshiba 4,299 6.5% 4,647 7.3% -7.5%
Others 12,396 18.7% 15,151 23.9% -18.2%
Total Market 66,370 100.0% 63,465 100.0% 4.6%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, January 12, 2015

In the U.S., the market grew some 4.6 percent, a rare glimmer of hope for PC makers. While Apple outgrew the market as a whole—most of the losses came from "Others"—Apple didn't outgrow three of the other members of the Top 5. HP, Dell, and Lenovo all saw higher unit growth than Apple. Toshiba saw its year-over-year sales decline.

This dovetails nicely with an editorial from Jim Dalrymple at The Loop about the Mac's place at Apple. In that piece, Mr. Dalrymple argued that, "While the changes to the hardware were, and continue to be, important, the changes to the software are what really ease my mind about the Mac’s place at Apple."

The numbers above show that the numbers back up the ongoing relevance of the Mac, at least to Apple's bottom line.