Mac shipments fall in 2019 despite impressive growth for PCs

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macBookpro
The 16-inch MacBook Pro couldn't save falling Mac shipments.
Photo: Apple

A big MacBook Pro refresh and a long-awaited Mac Pro overhaul couldn’t prevent Apple computer shipments from suffering another decline in 2019, according to new data.

Both IDC and Gartner say Mac shipments fell during the final quarter of 2019, and for 2019 as a whole. That’s despite decent growth for PCs, which enjoyed the highest single-quarter shipment volume in four years during Q4.

Intel chip shortages put a crimp in Mac sales

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Intel Core processor
Not enough Intel Core processors is the reason Apple can’t meet demand for its computers.
Photo: Intel Corporation

Intel continues to struggle to provide enough processors to meet demand from PC makers, and one of the victims was Apple. This is likely the cause for a slight drop in Mac shipments during the second quarter of this year.

AirPods could someday replace your Apple Watch

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airpods
Ear-worn devices like these AirPods could become the most-used type of wearable.
Photo: Ste Smith/ Cult of Mac

Smart watches are currently the most popular form of wearable, but ear-worn devices are expected to replace them in the coming years. The changeover will take place as AirPods and similar products gain additional features that people now get from Apple Watch and iPhone.

In less than five years, so-called “hearables” could outsell every other type of  wearable by a wide margin.

Mac sales declined in Q3, despite new MacBook Pros

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2018 MacBook Pro
Even the shiny new 2018 MacBook Pro models couldn't save Mac sales last quarter.
Photo: Apple

The third quarter of this year wasn’t a particularly good one for Apple, with Mac sales dropping a significant amount. That doesn’t say positive things about sales of the 2018 MacBook Pro models that debuted this summer.

Still, the company held onto its place as the world’s fourth-largest PC maker.

Smartphone sales decline for first time ever in 2017

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iPhone X
iPhone X didn't come out early enough to give Apple a sales boost.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The world may have passed its peak smartphone moment last year.

Smartphone sales data released today from the number crunchers at Gartner revealed that worldwide smartphone sales declined for the first time ever during the last quarter of 2017. Both Apple and Samsung saw their market share decline just slightly, but good news could be on the horizon.

Apple and Samsung massively increased chip spending in 2017

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chips
Apple spent $38.754 billion on chips last year.
Photo: Intel

Apple ramped up its spending on semiconductors by more than a quarter in 2017, a new report from Gartner claims.

In the past 12 months, Apple spent a massive $38.754 billion on chips, making it second only to Samsung in terms of semiconductor spend. In 2016, Apple spent “just” $30.39 billion — or 27.5 percent less.

iPhone X will drive a worldwide spike in smartphone sales

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iPhone X keynote
iPhone X is going to have a big impact on worldwide device sales.
Photo: Apple

The expected success of the iPhone X could help drive worldwide device shipments — comprising smartphones, tablets, and PCs — to their highest level of growth since 2015, a new report claims.

Figures released by data analysis firm Gartner suggests that total device shipments are predicted to exceed 2.35 billion units in 2018, an increase of 2 percent from this year. The firm notes that the iPhone X is likely to be a big sales driver in the United States, China and Western Europe, despite its $1,000+ price.

Apple Watch will remain smartwatch king for years to come

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Theater Mode finally makes its way to Apple Watch in watchOS 3.2 beta 1.
Apple Watch will remain king, but it will still face some challengers along the way.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple will rule the wearables roost through 2021, claims research firm Gartner — although it’s likely to see its dominance eroded along the way.

Gartner claims that 41.5 million total smartwatches (including those made by all companies) will sell in 2017, generating a massive $9.3 billion. That number will almost double by 2021, however, when the firm thinks smartwatch sales will hit 81 million units for the year.