Apple Breaks into Top 5 PC Vendors? Been There, Done That

According to IDC, Apple has broken into its Top 5 of the vendors shipping PCs. In the third quarter of 2014, Apple shipped nearly 5 million Macs for a 6.3 percent market share.

In comparison, IDC reports that Acer shipped 6.6 million, Dell 10.4 million, HP 14.7 million, and Lenovo 15.7 million PCs.

What about iPads, which account for a heckuva lot of “computing” use?

Not counted.

About Apple, IDC noted, “The company’s steady growth, along with recent price cuts and improved demand in mature markets, has helped it to consistently outgrow the market.”

Meanwhile, is moving into IDC’s “Top 5” a big deal? Not so much. According to an Apple Insider report, IDC’s preliminary numbers aren’t always accurate, particularly when they are compared to the numbers companies officially report on their financial statements during quarterly calls with investors. If IDC cared or was paying attention, Apple Insider’s report seems to imply that perhaps IDC could highlighted that Apple has technically made it into the Top 5 before now.

Daniel Eran Dilger takes a stab at clarity, writing:

Additionally, last year IDC ranked Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer and Asus as the top five PC vendors, with fifth place Asus reportedly having shipped 4.2 million PCs. However, Apple itself reported selling 4.6 million Macs that quarter (the company’s fiscal Q4).

That means Apple should have edged out Asus a year ago to take the fifth place among PC makers. IDC retroactively adjusted its numbers to report that Apple sold 4.577 million Macs in the year ago quarter, which also would have edged out the estimate it published for Asus last year, when it implied Apple wasn’t even in the top five.

Who Cares?

In my mind, we’re in the middle of a fundamental computing shift — the number of PCs and Macs being sold is becoming less and less relevant. iPads are being used — in huge numbers — for much of the computing tasks traditionally dominated by PCs. If IDC counted both tablets and PCs, the numbers would tell a far different story.

And this, it turns out, is how Canalys attempts to report the numbers. While Apple looks more impressive overall with this sort of accounting, Dilger also pointed out that Samsung suddenly becomes an interesting player — Samsung sells a lot of tablets but very few PCs.

The takeaway here?

Eventually the analysis will catch up with what Apple fans already know: The company is kicking ass and taking names.

About the author

Chris Maxcer

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I've been writing about the tech industry since the birth of the email newsletter, and I still remember the clacking Mac keyboards from high school -- Apple's seed-planting strategy at work. I'm a big fan of elegant gear and great tech, but there's something to be said for turning it all off -- or most of it -- to go outside. Online I like to call out cool stuff on Wicked Cool Bite and blog with my buddies at Man Makes Fire. To catch me, take a "firstnamelastname" guess at the url of this site.