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Apple has risen to a 10 percent U.S. market share in sales for the first time in years.  (Source: MacLife)

Lenovo posted even bigger international growth.  (Source: Flickr)

  (Source: guardian.co.uk/)
Lenovo wins even bigger in world sales

In a testament to its brilliant marketing, innovative packaging, and strong brand image, Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has reportedly achieved over 10 percent U.S. personal computer market share for the first time since the early 1990s.

Both Gartner, Inc. (IT) and IDC Research, Inc. -- two of the most prestigious market research firms -- have concluded [1][2] that Apple took 10.7 of the U.S. market in calendar quarter 2011.  The researchers used gathered shipment data to draw their conclusions, the most accurate of several market analytics approaches.

While the 10 percent figure represents computers sold in the quarter and not the total percentage of computers in operation, the study shows that consumers are increasingly picking Apple, even as the overall PC market struggles.

Incidentally, Apple's best-selling iPad tablet is cited as a major factor in declining PC sales.  Gartner estimates that sales dropped 5.6 percent year-to-year, while the IDC estimates that sales dipped 4.2 percent.  

Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa remarks, "Given the hype around media tablets such as the iPad, retailers were very conservative in placing orders for PCs. Instead, they wanted to secure space for media tablets. Some PC vendors had to lower their inventory through promotions, while others slimmed their product lines at retailers."

But Apple managed to buck the trend it helped create, posting 8.5 percent growth, according to Gartner, or 14.7 percent growth according to the IDC.  Both Gartner and the IDC say Apple is now in third place in PC sales.

Another clear "winner" was Japan's Toshiba Corp. (TYO:6502) who rose 3.3 percent according to Gartner, or 3.7 percent according to the IDC.  Toshiba bumped Taiwanese computer-maker ASUSTEK Computer Inc. (TPE:2357) to sixth place in U.S. sales.

Market-leader Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ) and the Taiwanese Acer Inc. (TPE:2353) shed market share in the U.S.  In Acer's case, the fall was particularly precipitous, with both Gartner and IDC estimating its drop at over 20 percent.  Acer's fall was precipitated by the mild collapse of the netbook market, a key driver of its sales.

Dell, Inc. (DELL) lost ground to HP, dropping 10.2 percent (according to the IDC) or 9.8 percent (according to Gartner), however it still clung to second place.

Global sales showed anemic 2.3 percent growth (Gartner) or 2.6 percent growth (IDC).  HP and Dell both posted similar world growth and enjoyed the same rankings as in the U.S.  Apple did not rank in global sales.  

In global sales ASUSTEK occupied the fifth spot, with Acer's posting a smaller global lost and dropping to fourth.  Globally the biggest winner was Hong Kong-based Lenovo Group, Ltd. (HKG: 0992) who grew 22.9 percent (IDC) or 22.5 percent (Gartner) to seize third place.  Lenovo's biggest gains were in the U.S. and Japan, markets it has traditionally seen lower sales in.

Apple's rise from obscurity to a solid third place ranking in the U.S. is not without its shortcomings.  Apple has thus far struggled to replicate that growth globally, particularly in markets where price trumps image or where local players have a strong foothold (e.g. Asia).  The rise in market share has also led to a rising number of serious malware attacks on Apple's OS X platform -- a platform that has typically been ignored by hackers, thanks to its small market share.



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RE: You get what you pay for
By sabbede on 7/14/2011 3:06:55 PM , Rating: 2
Not really. The only quality difference I have seen in Macs is in hardware design. They are quite elegant and often lovely.
However, the components themselves are nothing special and a PC can be assembled with the exact same components (different case obviously) for far less.
As for the OS, its really nothing special. For my own needs/purposes, it would be a serious disadvantage. The locked in nature of the software (including the draconian guidelines of the new app store), and the general lack of openness and configuration is just plain wrong.
Truly, a terrible lack of flexibility. A lack of freedom.
It is the openness and flexibility of the PC that permits the instabilities one may encounter. A trade-off I consider more than worthwhile.
Besides, if you're a gamer (like me) then buying a Mac is just a waste of money. Of all the games I play (and there are many) only one is available for the Mac.

Of course, there are certain applications that remain heavily Mac-centric or are available only on the Mac. So, if you need them, you need a Mac.
Or, perhaps all you want to do is check your email and browse the web while showing off the fact that you have money to waste.
Or, you just might not be capable of handling anything more complicated then the striped-down, oversimplified Mac OS. Nobody's fault of course. Some people just aren't that bright.


RE: You get what you pay for
By TakinYourPoints on 7/14/2011 8:57:26 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
However, the components themselves are nothing special and a PC can be assembled with the exact same components (different case obviously) for far less.


The keyboard, trackpad, and displays are why I have the Macs that I have. Internals are only one part of the equation. It is the price:horsepower:size:weight:interface:battery life ratio that MBPs balance so well. If you want to spend less then one or more of these things will be compromised. That's totally cool btw, everyone should be aware of their budget.

quote:
As for the OS, its really nothing special. For my own needs/purposes, it would be a serious disadvantage. The locked in nature of the software (including the draconian guidelines of the new app store), and the general lack of openness and configuration is just plain wrong.


I don't understand this argument. The App Store is completely optional, nothing is stopping you from buying software from other sources. It is also far less draconian than Steam in that it isn't nearly as restrictive a piece of DRM, and I LOVE Steam. All my games except for Starcraft 2 and League Of Legends are bought on Steam. If I can't complain about Steam then I sure as hell am not going to complain about the App Store.

As for the operating system, it is as configurable as Windows, and you actually get more control if you know your way around a Unix command line terminal. Now if you want to talk about unnecessary complexity then yes, Windows has that over OS X. There is no reason why something as simple as changing file permissions takes 5-6 steps in Windows 7 (if you know EXACTLY what you're doing) as opposed to two logical steps in OS X. The submenus and preference panes are my only real complaints about Windows 7 at this point, and hopefully they address them in Windows 8.

quote:
Besides, if you're a gamer (like me) then buying a Mac is just a waste of money. Of all the games I play (and there are many) only one is available for the Mac.


I agree, but it also depends on the games. Most of what I play is available on both operating systems (Valve/Blizzard games and League Of Legends), but if you want everything and gaming is a prime focus then you'll obviously want a Windows PC, both for OS support and faster GPUs. I've built my own uber-PCs since 97 and I'm not stopping anytime soon. :)

quote:
Of course, there are certain applications that remain heavily Mac-centric or are available only on the Mac. So, if you need them, you need a Mac.


Yup, Final Cut Studio here. My Mac is for work while my PC is for games. Works out fine here. Its actually great since my 27" iMac functions as the main display for my PC, its like I got a $1000+ monitor with a fast Mac built into it.

quote:
Or, perhaps all you want to do is check your email and browse the web while showing off the fact that you have money to waste.


Or maybe things like good displays, multitouch trackpads with full OS and application integration, good keyboards, magsafe connectors, excellent customer service, and battery life are important to you. If someone wants to spend the cash on a MBP then it isn't always because they are deluded, there are several practical and logical reasons why they are desirable over other brands. Most notebooks outside of Macs and Lenovos just aren't very good.


RE: You get what you pay for
By Pirks on 7/14/11, Rating: 0
RE: You get what you pay for
By maven81 on 7/15/2011 12:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
"As for the operating system, it is as configurable as Windows, and you actually get more control if you know your way around a Unix command line terminal."

Are you serious? You can't even change the appearance of the OS without downloading iffy 3rd party applications, and I'm talking about simple things here like fonts and colors. The fact that you need to get into the terminal to get to the guts of the OS is a failure, not a feature. I shouldn't need to use the command line to perform basic tasks. And sometimes you don't even have a choice. You mentioned file permissions. I've had many instances where doing it through the GUI kept failing, and only doing it through the terminal finally did it correctly.
But aside from that, the OS is incredibly slow (basic things like redrawing windows and opening applications. Even on a mac pro I experience the dreaded beachball). It's got awful memory management (tries to keep everything running, which eats up your ram very quickly and starts paging to disk. Or assigns half a gig of ram just to firefox!) I'm sorry but it's a fisher price OS and I say that as someone that has to use it the whole day every day at work.


"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov














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