Gartner has announced that Apple shipped 1,640,814 Macs (not including iPads) in the US in the first quarter of 2012, giving it a market share of 10.6 per cent, up from 9.8 per cent in the same quarter of 2011. The company was a "clear winners because of comprehensive product/service offerings, which gain a large part of consumers’ spending,” according to an analyst.  

Apple was in third place behind HP (which sold 4,493,516 PCs for a 29 per cent market share), and Dell (which sold 3,459,925 PCs for a 22.3 per cent market share).(More below) 

A total of 89 million PCs were shipped worldwide, a 1.9 per cent increase on a year earlier, and exceeding its earlier projection of a 1.2 per cent decline. Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa noted in a press release that the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region “perform better than expected with PC shipments growing 6.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2012”. Asia/Pacific performed “below expectations, in part because of slow growth in India and China.”

However, the outlook is still pretty bleak, due mainly to limited consumer budgets, noted Gartner. “The weak consumer PC demand is in part because of intensified competition for consumers’ budgets.”

 

Apple is a winner here, noted Gartner because: “Device vendors that focus on a limited product line will get only a small portion of the consumer wallet. Companies such as Apple Inc. can be clear winners because of comprehensive product/service offerings, which gain a large part of consumers’ spending.”

"The consumer segment continued to be a drag on market growth, as PC demand was low," said Kitagawa. "The HDD supply shortage moderately impacted the very low-end consumer notebook market, so channels could not run aggressive promotions with very low-end systems. Questions remain on whether low-end systems can attract consumers, as their attention has moved to other devices."

Another reason for slow sales is an expectation that updates, specifically Ivy Bridge and Windows 8, will be announced soon. A MacBook Pro update is believed to be immanent, for example, based on shipping dates for the new Ivy Bridge processor.

Kitagawa said: "The first quarter of 2012 was a transitional period as the PC industry is awaiting two big releases: Intel's Ivy Bridge and Microsoft's Windows 8. Both are expected to be launched this year. Although these new releases are not expected to stimulate demand as much as the industry hopes, they will affect PC supply so that there will be artificial supply control before and after the product releases. There will be few products rolled out into the market until these major releases have taken place."