IT Trends

Mac and Windows PCs Climb in U.S. as Worldwide Shipments Tank

Even as shipments of traditional computers tumble around the world, shipments of OS X- and Windows-based computers managed to climb slightly in the United States in the third quarter.

According to market research firm Gartner, shipments of PCs climbed 1.3 percent in the third quarter (July, August, September) in the United States compared with the same period last year.

That positive gain was the result of strong performances from just four vendors: HP, Dell, Apple and Lenovo. And the growth was largely attributable to notebooks and "premium ultramobiles (such as the MacBook Air and Microsoft Surface Pro)."

  • HP, the market leader in the United States, saw gains of 2.1 percent in the period, with more than 4.7 million units, capturing 27.8 percent of the market.
  • No. 2 Dell, with 24.2 percent of the domestic market, climbed 3.2 percent, with about 4.1 million units shipped int he quarter.
  • Apple, at No. 3, jumped 7.3 percent to 2.5 million units shipped, capturing 14.8 percent of the market (almost a one-point gain in market share).
  • No. 4 Lenovo rockets up 22 percent, shipping 2.12 million units and capturing 12.5 percent of the market, up more than two points in market share from Q3 2014.
  • Asus, at No. 5, dropped 19.7 percent.
  • All others combined fell 11.8 percent.

Total shipments in the United States came in at 16.96 million units in the third quarter.

Worldwide PC shipments, meanwhile, declined a substantial 7.7 percent. The slump was driven in large part by the stronger U.S. dollar, which drove prices upward by 10 percent in other parts of the world. According to Gartner, the launch of Windows 10 in the third quarter did not positively affect sales of PCs. Rather, users upgraded their existing equipment.

Total shipments worldwide in the third quarter came in at 73.73 million units. Only No. 3 Dell and No. 4 Apple saw positive growth. Dell was up 0.5 percent on 10.16 million units; Apple was up 1.5 percent at 5.6 million units.

According to Gartner, "While 3Q15 results illustrated gloomy market conditions for the PC market, there is a positive aspect in the results. According to Gartner's 2015 personal technology survey, 50 percent of consumers expressed intention to purchase a PC in the next 12 months, compared with 21 percent for tablet purchase intention."

"This change in consumer preferences toward PCs was visible in the preliminary data, as we saw positive growth in U.S notebook and premium ultramobile shipments,"said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in a statement released to coincide with the report. "Soft recovery is expected to start in 4Q15, as Windows 10 product refreshes start to appear. In the meantime, PC manufacturers should adjust configurations for 2016 without the impact of price hikes seen in 2015, which will lead into more stable market conditions in the upcoming year."

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director, education for 1105 Media's Public Sector Media Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal. A 22-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).


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