While Apple's mobile devices have dominated or been among the leaders in their respective categories, its computers have occupied only a small sliver of the market. Now, new data indicates that Apple worldwide market share for its Macs is increasing more rapidly than other manufacturers and has reached 5.2 percent -- in part fueled by rapid growth among businesses.
This is the first time in 15 years that the Mac has passed the 5 percent mark in market share. According to analyst Charlie Wolf of Needham & Co., the growth rate of Mac shipments in the third quarter of this year -- 24.6 percent -- exceeded that of PCs for the 22nd straight quarter. By comparison, the growth rate of PC shipments for the quarter was 5.3 percent.
43.8 Percent Growth in Businesses
Wolf said that the record-setting unit sales of 4.89 million Macs for the quarter helped the company's computer line grow from 4.7 percent worldwide market share in June, and from 4.4 percent at the same time last year.
He noted that the growth in Mac shipments over the last year was 20 percent of the growth of all PC shipments, and that the number of Macs shipped in the third quarter alone was more than the annual Mac shipments for each year before 2006.
Macs are also no longer primarily for consumers. While Mac sales to the home market increased 25.6 percent, compared with an overall PC increase of 4 percent, unit sales to businesses increased a whopping 43.8 percent, compared with 4.8 percent for PCs.
Wolf said that this surge in business adoption of Macs is a spillover effect resulting from the widespread use of iPads and iPhones by employees and IT departments.
Interestingly, while Macs have traditionally been strongest in education markets, the new results indicate the computer product line showed only 2.9 percent growth to educational organizations for the quarter, while PCs showed 16.9 percent. In governmental sales, Mac shipments dropped 0.6 percent.
15 Percent by 2015?
One reason for the relatively poor showing in education market growth is that those sales are instead going to Apple's iPad, which now exceed Mac sales in the K-12 market.
Laura DiDio, an analyst with Information Technology Intelligence Corp. (ITIC), said that the increase in the number of mobile and remote workers in the business world has helped Apple gain a larger foothold, because of its strength in mobile devices.
She noted that Apple, now in its fourth decade, has developed "a very strong reputation for their products, and for tech service and support," including a deal with Unisys to provide support in the enterprise.
DiDio said she expected the acceptance of Macs in the business world to continue its growth rate, resulting in a projected 15 percent market share worldwide by 2015. For enterprises only, ITIC predicts a 22 percent market share for Macs within five years.