Mac shipments grew a whopping 55% over the past 2 years

Macs just keep flying off store shelves


2021 iMac 24-inch
People are buying way more Macs than they used to.
Photo: Apple

Worldwide Mac shipments grew 22% in 2021. That’s the highest annual growth rate of any computer maker, according to a market-analysis firm.

It continues a year-over-year strong growth trend that started in 2020 and resulted in a 55% increase in shipments over two years.

Mac shipments are still on the rise

There were 27.8 million macOS devices shipped during all of 2021, according to IDC analysts. That’s up 22.1% over 2020.

But there was even stronger growth in 2020. In that year, Apple’s shipments of traditional desktops and laptops grew 29% annually.

Total Mac Shipments 2016-2021
Mac shipments were essentially flat for years, then took off in 2020.
Chart: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

As the dramatic increases started in 2020, it’s clear much of the growth is related to people purchasing new computers so they could work from home or attend school from home during the COVID-19 pandemic that began that year.

But that can’t be all of it because other PC makers aren’t enjoying as much growth. Their 2021 shipments were up year over year, but not at the same rate as Apple, according to IDC. Dell increased 18%, Lenovo and Acer grew 14% and HP was up 9%.

Apple silicon has to play a part

Apple’s growth surge might be increased because of the launch of the M series of powerful processors. This also started in 2020.The first M1 provides better performance than Apple itself expected. In 2021, the company followed that chip up with the M1 Pro and M1 Max, which are even faster.

While Apple provides consumers top-tier performance with its Macs, the company is still well behind the Big Three in annual global shipments. It had 8% of the market in 2021, according to IDC, compared to Lenovo at 24%, HP at 21% and Dell at 17%.

And everyone’s shipments could have been higher. “We closed the year with many buyers still waiting for their PC orders to ship,” said Tom Mainelli, head of IDC’s Device and Consumer Research. “As we move through the first half of the year, we expect supply to remain constrained, especially with regards to the commercial segment where demand is the most robust.”

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