Mac shipments shoot up as total PC market slows

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The 2021 iMac is crazy thin.
Mac shipments were up last quarter.
Photo: Apple

Mac shipments saw healthy growth during Q3 2021. Two market-research firms agree that the rise increased Apple’s share of the global PC market.

But COVID-19 has made it difficult for computer-makers to get the componts they need, reducing the ability to produce and sell products.

Mo’ Macs means mo’ problems… for PC makers

Apple does not reveal how many Macs it ships each quarter, so it is up to market analysis firms to make their own estimates. Which never quite agree.

Cupertino shipped 7.8 million Macs during the July-through-September period, according to Canalys. That’s a 14.4% increase, and enough to jump Apple’s share of the global market to 9.3%, up 0.8%.

IDC’s estimated increase isn’t as large. Analysts from this firm say Apple shipped 7.6 million Macs in Q3, up 9.9% for an 8.8% share of the global market, up 0.5%.

The figures include shipments of all macOS devices, from Mac mini to MacBook Pro. Tablets are not included even though these are generally used for the same tasks as laptops and desktops.

Mac shipments doing well at a tough time

Sales of every type of desktop and laptop would likely be higher except that companies are struggling to produce and ship their products. “Disruption to the global supply chain and logistics network remains the key inhibitor of higher growth in the PC market,” said Ishan Dutt, a senior analyst at Canalys.

And the problems were severe enough to lead to a decrease in PC shipments in the U.S. “Bottlenecked supply chains and ongoing logistic challenges led the U.S. PC market into its first quarter of annual shipment decline since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Neha Mahajan, a senior research analyst at IDC.

Apple is widely expected to launch redesigned 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro models in the coming weeks. These are expected to bump up the company’s Q4 sales, but a lot will depend on whether component shortages delay the release and restrict the number of units available for purchase.