Gartner has now weighed in on its estimates for PC sales in Q3, so here is a second, combined look at how the industry fared.
As you may recall, I reported on IDC’s findings yesterday: according to that firm, PC sales fell 15 percent in Q3 to 74.3 million units, and all of the top 5 PC makers except for Apple saw sales declines in the quarter. Apple, inexplicably, saw a rather unbelievable 40.2 percent gain.
Gartner has now chimed in with its own figures: according to this company, PC sales fell 19.5 percent in Q3 to 68 million units, and all of the top 5 PC makers, including Apple, saw major sales declines in the quarter. So we have a few things to discuss here.
First, let me do what I normally do and provide the averaged figures: PC sales fell 17.3 percent in Q3 to 71 million units. Lenovo was the biggest maker of PCs, with 17 million units sold (24 percent market share). HP was again in second place, with 12.7 million units sold. And Dell (12 million units), Apple (7.9 million units), and ASUS (5.5 million units) bring up the rear of the top five.
What’s interesting about those estimates is that IDC’s and Gartner’s unit sales for Lenovo, HP, Dell, and ASUS are identical or nearly so. But where IDC credits Apple with 10 million Mac sales, Gartner says the figure is just 5.6 million. We can only guess why the difference is so large, but using the combined numbers, Apple controls 11 percent of the PC market and Mac sales fell 3 percent year-over-year (YOY).
Obviously, both companies have their own sources for the data they analyze, but they also both measure different things in some cases. For example, Gartner’s figures include “PCs that are equipped with Windows, macOS and Chrome OS,” while IDC’s are only for “traditional PC shipments,” and exclude “Detachable Tablets and Slate Tablets,” and, I think, Chromebooks.
But that doesn’t explain the Apple numbers. And so I will turn to a third data source, Canalys, which reports numbers more similar to my averages: Apple, it says, sold 8 million units in Q3, and its numbers for Lenovo, HP, Dell, and ASUS likewise map neatly to my averages. (Canalys says that Apple unit sales grew 1.7 percent in the quarter, while the average of IDC and Gartner comes in at that 3 percent drop-off.)
Ultimately, these numbers are often estimates since not all PC makers report hard unit sales figures. Apple, most notably, does not.
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