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IDC: Apple passes Acer to grab fourth largest, 8.5% share of US PC market

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Despite a global 3.2 percent contraction in PC sales and a sharp 10.7 percent downturn in US PC shipments, Apple continued to expand Mac sales in the first quarter of 2011, claiming the number four spot among US PC sellers from Acer and expanding its market share among PCs from 7 percent in the year ago quarter to 8.5 percent.

Preliminary PC market share numbers released by IDC today show a continuing, accelerating contraction of the US PC market, and the first contraction in global PC shipments since the recession.

Bob O'Donnell, IDC'S vice president of Clients and Displays, said in a statement that "slower than expected commercial growth in the first quarter failed to offset the ongoing challenges in the consumer market. While it's tempting to blame the decline completely on the growth of media tablets, we believe other factors, including extended PC lifetimes and the lack of compelling new PC experiences, played equally significant roles."

Netbooks vs iPads

IDC's Apple PC market share numbers do not not include iPad sales, but do include shipments of netbooks or "mini-notebooks" of other PC makers. The growth of netbooks appears to have virtually evaporated after the debut of the iPad, particularly in the US market.

Acer, heavily invested in netbooks, saw its first quarter sales (compared to one year ago) drop by an astounding 42.1 percent, just after suffering a Q4 annual contraction of 28.5 percent in the US market.

Apple's 9.6 percent US Mac sales growth was exceeded only by Toshiba, which grew its US PC sales by 10.4 percent. Other top 5 PC makers suffered a loss in US shipments, ranging from HP's relatively narrow loss of just 2.4 percent to Dell's 11.8 percent contraction, which was larger than the US industry average of 10.7 percent contraction.

If Apple sold more than 3 million iPads in the first quarter, IDC's numbers would appear to make it the largest PC maker in the US when including sales of tablets, which IDC formerly included in its PC sales figures. Like Gartner, IDC now counts iOS and Android-based tablets as "media tablets" in a separate category. The firm recently estimated that Apple sold 83 percent of all "media tablets" last year.

Global PC sales

Global numbers weren't quite as bad as the US, but were still worse than originally expected. IDC said it expected 1.5 percent growth in the first quarter, but found sales had contracted industry wide by 3.2 percent.

Globally, fourth place Lenovo experienced exceptional 16.3 percent growth attributed by IDC to "dominance in Asia/Pacific" and "a disciplined channel expansion in other markets." Fifth place Toshiba grew its sales globally by 3.8 percent, the only other company in the the top 5 global vendors to report quarterly growth compared to Q1 2010.

Apple's global growth percentage isn't reported because it falls short of the top five PC vendors. Were iPad sales included, the company may have tied Toshiba for fifth place globally. Apple will report its Mac and iPad sales later this month in its quarterly earnings conference call.
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You're still stuck in the 'us versus them' thinking.
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