Whether you love Apple, hate it, or just see it as another company, it’s hard to deny that the company has had a rough couple weeks. In what was supposed to be Apple's dramatic last bow from Macworld, it failed to deliver any product that excited the audience much, only announcing a few minor releases and changes to its iTunes pricing. To make matters worse its CEO and guiding hand, Steve Jobs, took a sick leave and will be out until the end of June.
Now market research firm Gartner has released metrics on PC sales in Q4 2008, and the numbers aren't in Apple's favor according to AppleInsider. In Q3 2008 Apple had seen growth of 29.4 percent and had shipped a reported 1.645 million units. This fell in Q4 2008 to a mere 8.3 percent growth, shipping 1.225 million Macs. Apple gained a point of market share over the course of the year, and did ship 96,000 more systems that in Q4 2007. However, the numbers paint the picture that Apple's growth is slowing, which puts a damper on any gains.
Acer, fueled by its surprise sales hit the Aspire One netbook, grew an incredible 55.4 percent in Q4 2008 to reclaim its number three spot and take a commanding lead over Apple. It shipped 2.374 million units in the quarter. Acer's market share of 15.2 percent is approaching HP and Dell's after being at only 8.8 percent last year.
Toshiba made modest gains, growing 12 percent to be only the third of three top tier PC manufacturers to show growth. HP and Dell both posted losses in growth, but Dell posted the bigger one, with growth down 16.4 percent, cutting its lead over competitor HP. HP took a smaller 3.4 percent fall, shipping 4.288 million units to Dell's 4.466 million units.
The PC market as a whole, according to Gartner, is in its biggest slump since 2002. It posted sales of 78.1 million units for the quarter, an anemic 1.1 percent yearly quarter to quarter growth, and the lowest since 2002. Analyst Mika Kitagawa comments, "The United States experienced steeper than expected shipment declines due to the recession. The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region was also affected by the economic slow down across key countries. Asia/Pacific recorded the worst shipment growth since Gartner started its PC statistics research. Latin America met expectations, but its growth was much lower than in the past."
In the world market, HP furthered its lead, mustering a 3.5 percent growth, while second place Dell saw sales fall 5.9 percent. Acer took a commanding third worldwide with 31.1 percent growth, while Toshiba also showed strong growth of 20.7 percent. Fourth place Lenovo fell slightly, by 4.5 percent. Apple again failed to crack the top five.
Over the year 302.2 million units were shipped worldwide, a slightly better 10.9 percent increase from 2007. However, growth slowed the most towards the end of the year, a bad omen for next year’s sales.
quote: Don't the mass PC users play games and watch movies?
quote: They will buy a TV and a computer....
quote: I don't think its that simple sure some people only check email....
quote: ...I envisioned years ago that in general by this point people would get rid of consoles and other specialized equipment and people would just use powerful laptops to game, entertain....
quote: Netbooks themself are kinda stupid when a smart phone is almost at their level.
quote:Sure, you can watch movies on a computer, but the TV and computer have different purposes and will remain separate markets no matter how many times the consumer electronics companies try to integrate them. Yes, they'll continue to add features that integrate/overlap the two, but they will remain separate markets.
quote: Why anyone would want to watch movies on their PC is quite beyond me.
quote: but apple faithful typically rebuy their hardware every 18-24 months.
quote: ... many macs cannot be upgraded to match the features of the latest models.
quote: most PC users keep a PC for 3-4 years. they don't care about the latest feature and they rarely upgrade their PC
quote: Macs are generally useful and productive for 4-6 years
quote: News flash for you. Apple doesn't make CPUs, memory chips, or hard drives.
quote: I call BS on that one.
quote: Running Tiger on any G3 is flat out pathetic, putting Leopard on it is worse.
quote: Snow Leopard is not even going to support PPC, it'll be released when Leopard is barely a year old
quote: Apple is known for their tactics of making last years hardware obsolete
quote: Then the awesome G5 came around, the fastest processor in the world
quote: oh, wait, we better switch to Intel quick, we seem to have hit a technical barrier here
quote: Tiger (10.4) runs just as well on a G3 as Panther (10.3) or Jaguar (10.2) did.
quote: The iBook G4 (single core 1.33Ghz PPC G4) is nearly as fast in most applications as my MBP (2.2GHz Core2 Duo) because the PPC G4 was a very advanced CPU.
quote: 2 friends recently purchased Macs. I personally don't care for them much as they are too pricey for what you get in return.