Blog Post

Apple’s US PC Growth is Even Better Than It Seems

Based on reported preliminary figures from Gartner, Apple is set to show incredible PC growth in the US compared to the industry.

I’m not so concerned with the figures themselves so much as my belief that to properly calculate Apple’s growth compared to the industry you must remove their figures from the industry totals and then compare the growth rates side by side. 

For example, in the chart below (from the article) you see total PC growth listed as 4.6 percent. Since Apple’s projected growth is 29.4 percent, they are claimed to be growing at “more than six times the industry.”

But such a comparison not only hamstrings Apple, it favors the PC (i.e., non-Mac) makers by making it look like they’re doing better than they really are. How? Well, it compares Apple to a total that already has Apple in it! You’re essentially comparing Apple to itself. If you want to see how Apple is doing compared to everyone else than you must compare Apple’s figures alone to everyone else’s minus Apple’s. 

So, how is Apple really growing in the US? To see, let’s remove its figures from the total and then compare the two growths.

Without Apple, 3Q ’08 shipments total 15,705, and 3Q ’07 total 15,312. The growth of 393 represents ~2.6%. That’s a true representation of what non-Mac vendors did on their own. In other words, what they did without Apple. Now, when you look at Apple’s growth you can place it in proper perspective. Apple’s 29.4% represents growing at over 11 times the non-Mac industry in the US! Big difference, and a much better representation of what’s really going on in the US today. 

If you’re going to compare Apple to the rest of the industry, don’t inflate that industry’s figures by including Apple in the total. Even Apple has a hard time competing against itself.

10 Responses to “Apple’s US PC Growth is Even Better Than It Seems”

  1. @Mo:

    In the last year, AAPL is down 40%, while the entire Dow and NASDAQ are down 30% year over year. In the past five years AAPL is up 870%, DJIA down 2% and NASDAQ down 8%. In the last month, AAPL is up 14%, DJIA down 7% and NASDAQ down 8%. In the last month, Acer went down 11%, in the last year, Acer went down 33%, and in the last five years, Acer went down 14%.

  2. Wow, Mark, hypocrisy at its finest. You compared Apple’s absolute share growth in the total market, 2%, to Acer’s growth compared to itself, 47%. What a numbnut!

    Each 1% share growth is worth about $1B in actual profit for Apple. Tell me how much Acer’s 47% growth against itself, was worth in profit?

  3. @Mark
    Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Growing your market share by 2% from 6% to 8% is growing your share by 33%. Why is +2% of total market share more ‘real’ than +33% of Apple’s previous share of the market? In the ‘real’ world Microsoft is in the middle of a $300,000,000.00 campaign attacking Apple for its advertising!

    Oh and Acer sells computers so popular with people with the affluence to choose the computer they want, that Acer isn’t even in the top 3 in the U.S.!

    Have a ‘real’ day.

  4. Mark,

    A “mere” 2% is excellent when you’re in single digits to begin with. Apple’s close to 10% in the US and over 3.5% worldwide. Those are up significantly from five years ago, and even last year, and the trend continues to climb at ever-faster rates.

    THAT is the reality; thanks for helping me point it out.

  5. Meanwhile, back in reality Apple’s US share grew by a mere 2% in a year despite an advertising campaign costing millions which concentrated on its competitor’s weaknesses rather than its own strengths.

    Oh and Acer grew by 47% worldwide whilst Apple still don’t register in the top 5 manufacturers.

    Have a nice day!

  6. ice analysis-thanks

    Mac Marketshare sales numbers are also skewed by 2 remaining factors.
    1. Apple users tend to keep their computers longer-thus re-purchase less often.
    2. Many Apple users have a PC at work, thereby offsetting the Mac they bought for home.