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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)

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 amanojaku on 7/14/2011 3:42:51 PM , Rating: 4
He's only expressing his opinion.
Does this sound like an opinion to you?
In the case of Mac OS, you get higher quality and reliability. They cost more because they are better.
He stated an opinion as fact.
In the case of laptops, if you want a solidly built laptop with superb battery life and access to Apple's app store, you pay extra and you buy the Mac.
More opinion stated as fact.
Conversely, if you want a less expensive laptop built from (typically) flimsier materials, but one that offers higher-spec'd components and compatibility with almost every application written on the planet, you buy a PC.
More opinion stated as fact.

Apple makes three notebooks. Dell, HP, and Lenovo make around 20 between them. I won't bother naming all the other vendors. Quality runs the gamut, but it has been MY experience that Apple is among the worst. All of my MacBook friends need repairs every year, starting with the DVD drive, then hard drive, motherboard, and finally the screen.

Even my crappy Dells made out of tissue paper have lasted at least two years without a repair. The most solid laptop I have ever used is an HP workstation, but Lenovo has models, even thin and light ones smaller than a MacBook, that come close to its level of sturdiness. Most of these systems are cheaper than a similarly spec'd MacBook, too. My OPINION.

RE: You get what you pay for
By W00dmann on 7/14/11, Rating: 0
RE: You get what you pay for
By mircea on 7/15/2011 3:25:58 AM , Rating: 2
I know why this is:
the absurdly high customer satisfaction levels with Apple products, highest in the industry by a wide margin

Most Apple buyers are so in love (or protective/wanting to prove they payed more for getting more) with their Apple products, that they put in this survey as a plus that "I can just drop my laptop at the Apple store when it brakes and come back 3 day later and pick it up all fixed".

This wile most PC users complain and put as minus on survey every time they do something stupid and have to manually restart the computer (no real repairs needed).

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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