Apple has always been considered the underdog of the PC industry, although Mac sales have been on an upwards trend for the last few years while the rest of the industry continues to take a nosedive. The iPad is cannibalizing PC sales, and PC manufacturers are starting to concentrate on the smartphone and tablet space. The “PC” sales numbers are still not quite matching up with reality: the iPad is a personal computer, and Apple is crushing the competition.
With that in mind, research firm Gartner has released its PC shipments report for the first quarter of 2012. According to the report, Apple sits as the third largest PC maker in the U.S.. And the iPad? Well, no one can touch the iPad.
Apple experienced small year-over-year U.S. growth of 3.8% with 1,640,814 Macs shipped, but it still beat the rest of the industry’s 3.5% decline in sales since the first quarter of last year. Apple’s PC market share has been on the decline over the last couple quarters due to the lack of updated hardware, and the Cupertino company now possess 10.6% of the market after owning 11.6% in the last quarter of 2011. Ivy Bridge-equipped Macs are coming very soon, so expect that percentage to increase next quarter.
One comment from principal Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa is particularly interesting:
“The consumer segment continued to be a drag on market growth, as PC demand was low,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “The HDD supply shortage moderately impacted the very low-end consumer notebook market, so channels could not run aggressive promotions with very low-end systems. Questions remain on whether low-end systems can attract consumers, as their attention has moved to other devices.”
What “other devices” do you think Kitagawa is talking about? Tablets, of course. More specifically, iPads. Here’s what Gartner also had to say about tablets:
“As vendors struggled to compete on price and differentiate enough on either the hardware or ecosystem, inventories were built and only 60 million units actually reached the hands of consumers across the world. The situation has not improved in early 2012, when the arrival of the new iPad has reset the benchmark for the product to beat.”