Apple remains No. 1 PC maker, despite falling sales

By

Sell your MacBook to us, even if it's busted.
Apple reigns as the top PC maker, but it's a crumbling market.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has once again been named the No. 1 seller of PCs, based on shipments of just over 14 million units in the first three months of 2016.

The study comes courtesy of independent analysts Canalys, which claim that worldwide PC shipments — which it defines as being desktops, notebooks, two-in-ones and tablets — totaled 101 million units this quarter. That means that, broadly speaking, seven out of every 50 PCs sold bore the Apple brand.

Here's how PC sales broke down this quarter.
Here’s how PC sales broke down this quarter.
Photo: Canalys

However, while relatively strong Mac sales are definitely good for Apple — particularly at a time when iPhone sales are falling — it should be noted that the entire PC industry continues to slowly crumble. Total volume dipped 13 percent year-on-year to hit the lowest point since summer 2011, back when Steve Jobs was alive. Apple, meanwhile, saw its PC sales dip 17 percent.

The worst-performing sector was tablets, which saw shipments fall 15 percent to just under 39 million. Two-in-one devices continued to buck the trend in wealthier markets, although Tim Cook has already made clear his thoughts on Apple releasing a product to rival Microsoft’s Surface.

Part of the reason for the overall PC decline is weakening sales in China, which is also one of the key drivers behind slowing smartphone sales. By comparison, North America was the best-performing region for PCs this quarter — but even there, PC shipments fell by around 5 percent.

After Apple, the biggest PC manufacturer was Lenovo, followed by HP, Dell and then Samsung.

“The global PC market had a bad start to 2016 and it is difficult to see any bright spots for vendors in the coming quarters,” said Tim Coulling, Canalys’ senior analyst. “The tablet boom has faded in the distance and the market is fully mature. Global shipments declines are expected to continue unless vendors bring transformational innovation to the market.”

He also noted that the number of people looking to buy their first PC is at an all-time low, and that 2016 is likely to bring yet more turmoil to global PC vendors.

What, if anything, do you think Apple can do to boost sales of its Mac and iPad product lines? Leave your comments below.