IDC miscounts Macs again, awards Apple fifth place in global PC sales one year too late

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited October 2014
IDC doesn't like counting iPads among its global PC figures, but it doesn't seem to like counting Macs either, given its back-to-back quarterly undercounting of Apple's computer sales.

IDC Q3 2014 PC shipments


Yesterday, IDC released numbers indicating that Apple had finally made it into the top five PC makers globally on sales of Macs (not including any iPad sales).

According to the firm's latest numbers, Apple's Mac sales grew by 8.9 percent in a globally market that overall retracted by 1.7 percent, as long as you compare IDC's current numbers from the year ago quarter with its latest estimate of Mac sales for calendar Q3.

However, if you compare IDC's current shipping estimates of the PC market against what the company "preliminarily" reported a year ago (below), global PC shipments are actually down by 3.8 percent, because last year IDC said that Q3 shipments reached 81.6 million. Today it reports that only 79.9 million PCs shipped in the year ago quarter.

IDC Q3 2013 shipments


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.

This all happened before

Three months ago, IDC similarly lowballed its estimates for Mac shipments, reporting that Apple's calendar Q2 U.S. shipments fell by 1.7 percent while U.S. PC sales had grown by 6.9 percent. Gartner similarly reported that U.S. Mac sales had retracted by 1.3 percent, while crediting generic PCs with growth of 7.4 percent. Three months ago, IDC similarly lowballed its estimates for Mac shipments

However, when Apple released its actual Mac sales at the end of July, it reported that Macs had actually seen "strong double digit growth" in the U.S. along with a series of other markets, a direct contradiction of the story presented by IDC and Gartner that generic PCs were growing faster than Mac sales.

While Apple doesn't detail its product breakdown by region, Apple's chief financial officer Luca Maestri specifically noted, "we achieved strong double digit Mac growth across many countries, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the UK, Germany, France, Australia, China, India and the Middle-East" during the company's earnings call.

"This growth is particularly impressive, given the contraction of the overall PC market. Macs have now gained global market share for 32 of the last 33 quarters," Maestri added.

With IDC finally now including Apple into its top five PC vendors, it will be possible to directly compare IDC's "estimates" against Apple's actual Mac sales. Previously, the firm has only reported U.S. figures for Apple.

IDC & Gartner ignore iPads for good reason

In calculating their PC "market share" estimates, both IDC and Gartner include low end netbook and hybrid devices and Windows tablets. IDC also counts Chromebook web browser devices, but both firms exclude sales of Apple's iPad from their PC sales figures.

If they had included iPads and other tablets in their PC figures, they would be forced to recognize Apple as being the largest computer maker globally by a wide margin. Despite much media handwringing about Apple's year-over-year decrease in iPad sales, the company still sold 13.3 million iPads globally in the second quarter, more than Samsung, Lenovo and Asus (the next three largest vendors, according to IDC) combined.

Canalys is one market research company that does report combined sales of PCs and tablets without excluding iPads, although it has not yet publicly released its figures for Q3. For Q2, Canalys reported that Apple was the largest global vendor of computers with a 14 percent share of all computers sold.

Canalys PC shipments Q2 2014


Lenovo came in a very close second place overall, while HP, Dell and Samsung roughly tied for third place. Lenovo, HP and Dell sell more conventional desktops and notebooks than Apple, but none of those vendors sell many tablets. Conversely, Samsung is second in tablets but sells very few conventional PCs.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,215member
    Hey DED, please create a nice looking and correct chart that can circulate the internet. I'd take your numbers over IDC any day!
  • Reply 2 of 44

    Not entirely sure what the point of this is. According to those figures they also lowballed Lenovo and HP by an even bigger margin.

     

    Apple was out by 200 thousand, Lenovo by 1571 thousand and 737 thousand. Compared to those 2 Apple being out by 200 thousand is actually quite close.

     

    All it really shows is estimates and basically just that and estimate and if 2 companies are close they could switch position.

     

    The stuff about iPads not being counted is also just stupid. People think of them as different thing, people talk about them replacing PC's ergo they arnt a PC. So if you want figures comparing PC's there's not much point including them.

  • Reply 3 of 44
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,060member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

     

    Not entirely sure what the point of this is. According to those figures they also lowballed Lenovo and HP by an even bigger margin.

     

    Apple was out by 200 thousand, Lenovo by 1571 thousand and 737 thousand. Compared to those 2 Apple being out by 200 thousand is actually quite close.

     

    All it really shows is estimates and basically just that and estimate and if 2 companies are close they could switch position.

     

    The stuff about iPads not being counted is also just stupid. People think of them as different thing, people talk about them replacing PC's ergo they arnt a PC. So if you want figures comparing PC's there's not much point including them.




    iPads are computing devices capable of performing almost every task a traditional desktop, laptop, netbook can. If they included Chromebooks then they should have included iPads. Period.

  • Reply 4 of 44
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,580member
    lkrupp wrote: »

    iPads are computing devices capable of performing almost every task a traditional desktop, laptop, netbook can. If they included Chromebooks then they should have included iPads. Period.

    But iPads don't come with keyboards :D
  • Reply 5 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    But iPads don't come with keyboards image

     

    Oh, for the love of Pete.  I connected to my "work" vm this morning (thanks, VmWare), reviewed reports, fired off a couple of emails, kicked off a build, and IM'd with a coworker... all from my iPad, before heading out from the house.  And all without a separate keyboard, thank you very much.

  • Reply 6 of 44
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,060member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    But iPads don't come with keyboards image



    Which means analysts and number crunchers can pick and choose the metrics they want to produce the results they want. If there’s one thing I have learned following Apple over the decades is that pundits, analysts, prognosticators are all scam artists producing the results their clients expect and pay for. It’s also why I pay a professional to manage my retirement IRA. I wouldn’t dare do it myself by relying on analyst reports and financial gurus on their websites offering free books on how they made millions. 

     

    Following Apple has opened my eyes wide to the scam that is going on.

  • Reply 7 of 44
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    But iPads don't come with keyboards image



    Neither do Mac Minis, and lots of PC towers.

  • Reply 8 of 44
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member

    Considering iPad purchases REPLACE the purchase of a PC Mac or ShitBook for a lot of people, to not include them is psychotically disingenuous, and a fraudulent attempt to pretend that Apple hasn't taken over and made everything else irrelevant.

  • Reply 9 of 44
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,562member
    Okay I am not making excuses for IDC, however I believe they are justifying not including ipads in PC sales since Apple themselves do not consider ipads a computer but a consumer electronic product. All the other companies selling tables call themselves a computer company. These idiot on the research company follow these strict definitions.

    This all does not matter since IDC continue to come out with numbers prior to any company reporting their numbers. They just pulling number out of the air anyway.
  • Reply 10 of 44
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,527member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     



    Which means analysts and number crunchers can pick and choose the metrics they want to produce the results they want. If there’s one thing I have learned following Apple over the decades is that pundits, analysts, prognosticators are all scam artists producing the results their clients expect and pay for. It’s also why I pay a professional to manage my retirement IRA. I wouldn’t dare do it myself by relying on analyst reports and financial gurus on their websites offering free books on how they made millions. 

     

    Following Apple has opened my eyes wide to the scam that is going on.


    What's funny is that the companies that pay for such reports, which as you note tailor the information to be as positive as possible for those companies, may then develop strategies that aren't as effective.  So those companies may be deliberately paying for misleading information...which is OK by those in the marketing departments, as they want to present that rosy view to management.  



    My experience is that most leaders in the chain at companies rarely want to see the "truth", but rather want to see information which matches what they want.

  • Reply 11 of 44
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,647member
    This is nothing new. I've been stating this for years, here, and many other places.

    But one reason for the changed numbers is that both Gartner and IDC present estimates. They don't wait until all the manufacturers report their quarters, and, as we see, their estimates are off. The discrepancy between their reports show that. But a year later, they have all of the correct numbers. The chart from last year that they use now contains those numbers. DED is often a bit nuts about what he says, and looks for things that aren't always there. He seems to be trying to point out a conspiracy that doesn't exist. Let's remember that he is the ultimate fanboy. I've argued with him more than a few times about major errors in his thinking.

    They can't BS the actual numbers, after they come out.cwhat they do, however, is BS some of their future sales estimates to favor their clients, and by that, hopefully give a false confidence which could help faltering sales. That hasn't seems to work.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    plovellplovell Posts: 800member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    But iPads don't come with keyboards image



    Neither does Microsoft's Surface. That's an extra purchase, just like Apple's wireless keyboard.

  • Reply 13 of 44
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,647member
    brucemc wrote: »
    What's funny is that the companies that pay for such reports, which as you note tailor the information to be as positive as possible for those companies, may then develop strategies that aren't as effective.  So those companies may be deliberately paying for misleading information...which is OK by those in the marketing departments, as they want to present that rosy view to management.  


    My experience is that most leaders in the chain at companies rarely want to see the "truth", but rather want to see information which matches what they want.

    It doesn't work that way. They have two faces for these reports. The one we see is the public face. That's all marketing, and to keep them in the public eye. It's intended to help their clients publicly, with an encouraging outlook for their own customers, and potential customers, or at least as encouraging as the continued real numbers allow.

    But the internal reports, which we don't see because they cost a pretty penny, are the real thing. These companies would never remain in business if their data and thinking wasn't accurate enough, quarter after quarter. No one will pay thousands a year for inaccurate reports and conclusions. They are also vastly more complex and sophisticated, covering details that companies need for planning.
  • Reply 14 of 44
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,580member
    pscooter63 wrote: »
    Oh, for the love of Pete.  I connected to my "work" vm this morning (thanks, VmWare), reviewed reports, fired off a couple of emails, kicked off a build, and IM'd with a coworker... all from my iPad, before heading out from the house.  And all without a separate keyboard, thank you very much.

    Do realize my post about the lack of a keyboard was meant as a joke. :lol:
  • Reply 15 of 44
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,647member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    But iPads don't come with keyboards :D

    I don't get you. You should know better by now. If your going to mush around with something, then tell the entire truth. Chromebooks are are of minor use. Google Docs are the worst of the big three suits out there. Every review in the professional computer sites agrees with this. So while these sell to the "I don't wanna spend any money crowd.", and the education business, which has yet to find out all the limitations since its only been the last six months that Chromebooks have really been selling there, they aren't generally useful. Maybe someday, but that day isn't now.

    And the lack of a keyboard hasn't hurt sales to the business and government sectors, where iPads constitute 90% of all tablets. Most work doesn't require a mechanical keyboard. I type all of my posting on my iPad, and have been for years. That's more typing in the average day than the average business person types.

    And if your going to talk about price, though you didn't here, then the competition for tablets, is generally—tablets. And of them, the iPad doesn't require a keyboard, whereas the Surface does, and Android tablets are absent in business, government and education, for obvious reasons.
  • Reply 16 of 44
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,647member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Do realize my post about the lack of a keyboard was meant as a joke. :lol:

    Considering your posting history, that would be a negative.
  • Reply 17 of 44
    Imagine one day Google really commercializes cars without steering wheels.

    IDC wouldn't count them as "cars", since everyone knows that cars have steering wheels.

    They would invent some new category, such as Self-Steering Motorized Vehicles (SSMVs), which would never be compared to actual car sales. Google would have 100% of the SSMVs market, but 0.00% of the car market.

    In 1984, IDC should have given Macs 100% of the Computer-like Home Electronic Devices with Mouse Input Devices (CHEDMID) but 0.00% of the personal computer market.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post

     

     

    Oh, for the love of Pete.  I connected to my "work" vm this morning (thanks, VmWare), reviewed reports, fired off a couple of emails, kicked off a build, and IM'd with a coworker... all from my iPad, before heading out from the house.  And all without a separate keyboard, thank you very much.


    I sometimes do a lot of work on my phone, I wouldn't suggest they start including phones in the figures.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     

    Considering iPad purchases REPLACE the purchase of a PC Mac or ShitBook for a lot of people, to not include them is psychotically disingenuous, and a fraudulent attempt to pretend that Apple hasn't taken over and made everything else irrelevant.


    Isn't that a good reason to keep them separate. If they were included would there ever have been reports to suggest the PC market had been in decline due to the success of tablets. It would just be that the PC market was booming due to people buying multiple form factors.

     

    Until you can walk into an average offers and see 10 - 20% of people working solely on a tablet rather than the current Desktop / Laptop split I'd consider them a different market.

  • Reply 19 of 44
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

     

    Not entirely sure what the point of this is. According to those figures they also lowballed Lenovo and HP by an even bigger margin.

     

    Apple was out by 200 thousand, Lenovo by 1571 thousand and 737 thousand. Compared to those 2 Apple being out by 200 thousand is actually quite close.

     

    All it really shows is estimates and basically just that and estimate and if 2 companies are close they could switch position.

     

    The stuff about iPads not being counted is also just stupid. People think of them as different thing, people talk about them replacing PC's ergo they arnt a PC. So if you want figures comparing PC's there's not much point including them.




    the point is: IDC is full of sh*t.

  • Reply 20 of 44
    fracfrac Posts: 480member
    melgross wrote: »
    brucemc wrote: »
    What's funny is that the companies that pay for such reports, which as you note tailor the information to be as positive as possible for those companies, may then develop strategies that aren't as effective.  So those companies may be deliberately paying for misleading information...which is OK by those in the marketing departments, as they want to present that rosy view to management.  


    My experience is that most leaders in the chain at companies rarely want to see the "truth", but rather want to see information which matches what they want.

    It doesn't work that way. They have two faces for these reports. The one we see is the public face. That's all marketing, and to keep them in the public eye. It's intended to help their clients publicly, with an encouraging outlook for their own customers, and potential customers, or at least as encouraging as the continued real numbers allow.

    But the internal reports, which we don't see because they cost a pretty penny, are the real thing. These companies would never remain in business if their data and thinking wasn't accurate enough, quarter after quarter. No one will pay thousands a year for inaccurate reports and conclusions. They are also vastly more complex and sophisticated, covering details that companies need for planning.

    Quite so. Also relevant is that the market as a whole - analysts, market forecasters, PR and lobbyists, manufacturering segments(read Windows and PCs), will act in unison to bring the 900lb gorilla to heel...which for the past 10 years, has been Apple. I really like that.
    This creates some breathing room while they figure out what to do.
    Apple can be no less than delighted whilst 'they' control their own destiny and the rest flounder in their wake.

    OT AI has finally hammered a nail into my gen 1 iPad...browser crashes galore now. Not complaining, just about every updated site does so too. Add one new iPad sale.
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