back to article Thought PCs were in the toilet? They're STILL eating Apple's lunch

Apple is losing ground to rival PC manufacturers as shipments plummet in the key US market, according to a report from IDC. The fruity firm's share of the US PC market slipped from 10.9 per cent last year to 10 per cent in the second quarter of 2014, while its year-on-year growth shrank by 1.7 per cent. These dismal figures …

Silver badge

So...

Apple did poorly against Lenovo because Lenovo did spectacularly. Nevertheless, Apple saw growth while the market as a whole declined?

Of course, I wouldn't exactly have described the PC market as "Apple's lunch" in the first place. Compared to shipments of other types of device and of other suppliers I'd have called it maybe "that small snack somewhere around 4PM that Apple eats a very small piece of".

7
8

Re: So...

If you consider going from 10.9% to 10% growth, then yes, Apple grew.

8
6
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: So...

To be fair, most people who can count to 20 without taking off their socks would consider it growth.

6
5
Silver badge

Re: So... (@David Webb)

The article claims that Apple's "year-on-year growth shrank by 1.7 per cent.". You can't turn a positive into a negative by shrinking by a percentage. You can negate it but you can't negative it. Therefore Apple continued to grow.

It subsequently claims that "Worldwide PC [saw] a year-on-year decline of 1.7 per cent." which appears to state that the market as a whole declined.

Given that Apple's relative share within the US declined, as you observe, and assuming El Reg has subedited properly, I guess what we have to conclude is:

• Apple grew;

• the US market grew more quickly;

• the worldwide market declined.

The real absurdity is that an article that should be about Lenovo's incredible growth seems to want to focus on a point here or there for the fourth-place supplier.

16
1

Re: So... (@David Webb)

No, they shrunk.

Mac sales in ~2013 were 1.7m units, Mac sales in ~2014 were 1.6m units, a "growth" of -1.3%

The research firm corroborated IDC's report by noting Apple as the only top-five PC maker to post negative growth year-over-year, dipping 1.3 percent from 2013.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/07/09/mac-sales-continue-to-slide-in-q2-as-overall-pc-market-rebounds

So my original statement is correct, Apple shrunk, the number of units shifted is down, whilst everyone else is up.

6
1

No mystery here, £500 is the new sweet spot, and both HP and Lenovo offer nice kit at that point.

9
0

£500 quid AND running "Fallout, New Vegas"!

0
0
Silver badge

And most people at work still need a PC and need to run SAP, Dynaics, JD Edwards etc. plus MS Office.

That means that Windows is the obvious choice, the Mac is more expensive, and you still need to buy a Windows licence on top of that...

New startups and media type businesses might be more flexible, but traditional business is stuck with what runs their business critical process software.

1
0
Silver badge

Sweet indeed!

Do they make any money from those sales?

2
0
Silver badge

And most people at work still need a PC and need to run SAP, Dynaics, JD Edwards etc. plus MS Office.

"most people at work" need to run SAP, etc? Across all industries? Not in my experience. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that the majority of business-owned PCs are not running SAP, or most of the other packages you listed. MS Office, yes, probably, because the damn thing is nearly unavoidable.

0
0
Silver badge

Profits?

How do Apple rank in terms of PC-based profits? I'm guessing that is a more useful measure if you are a shareholder.

3
3
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Profits?

> if you are a shareholder.

Who cares about the 1%?

2
2
Silver badge

Re: Profits?

Indeed, if the comparison was by revenue, let alone profit, Apple would fare much better. Even seeing double digits is good for them considering they were down below 5% in the US at their bottom a decade ago.

PCs are a small part of their overall profit anyway, the iPhone alone accounts for roughly half of Apple's profit.

4
2
Silver badge

Re: Profits?

Apple's profits are likely still the best or second best in the industry but this survey is about what consumers are buying, not about whether any particular company is about to have to shutter up. So it's useful to people like software companies. Even if Apple were more profitable than every other manufacturer added together, if they had only 0.1% market share then where would you focus your development resources?

6
0

Re: Profits?

fair point. market share is not everything.

i still think the herds are growing bored of apple's shiny offerings though.

5
2
Silver badge

Re: Profits?

Haven't apple been cutting prices whilst others have been moving to expensive ultra books for the high end? It's direction rather than absolute numbers that shareholders care about and I'd guess the direction favours PC makers.

3
0
Silver badge

"herds are growing tired of Apple"

Ah, the siren call of the Apple hater. They incorrectly believe that people buy Apple's stuff because of "marketing" or because of "shiny" of because of "sheeple" and think that they're soon going to wise up and realize Apple sucks and go with Microsoft/Linux/Android.

These people have been wrong for years, and will continue to be wrong, because they haven't any clue whatsoever why Apple is successful. Anyone who believes that people who make a choice different than theirs are wrong is wrong themselves. There is not a "right" choice for what PC/laptop to buy or what smartphone/tablet to buy. Once the haters realize that they might quit their wishful thinking that Apple is going to crater in the near future because the sheeple are about to wake up and think like they do...

3
7
Silver badge

Re: whether any particular company is about to have to shutter up

I'm willing to put a fiver on HP's PC and server biz being sold off within 3 years

1
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Trollface

That's because

Macs never really escaped from the desks of graphic designers or others chained to Adobe products, only the media wonks and Nathan Barleys of this world want to pay that much over the odds for what is now basically completely generic X86 PC hardware in a fancy box with a massive premium on the price.

29
8
Bronze badge

Re: That's because

Yay, speak for everyone, lurker, why not.

My wife has one (regular bod). My next-door-neighbour has one (football coach). I have one (loathe Adobe). My friend who owns a sandwich and kebab stall has one. My friend who is a vet has one.

I also have a PC at work. Hate it.

18
16
Silver badge

Re: That's because

Yeah its not just graphic designers that are stupid enough to pay over the odds for a disposable computer, football coaches do too!

16
6
Anonymous Coward

Re: That's because

Macs are nice enough kit (I have one at work) - but - the games I like to play are never available on Mac, the electronics design software and CAD in general (Altium Designer, Solidworks e.t.c.) we use does not exist on Mac. So we have complementary windows boxes too.

I also think that Mac feels a lot like Linux - everything works with everything Mac'ish - but with slight inconsistencies that are OK to have for free software, not in a product priced at 4 digits. I think people love the design.

11
1
Bronze badge

Re: That's because

only the media wonks and Nathan Barleys of this world want to pay that much over the odds

I have used Logic for my hobby (recording music) for around 15 years. It only runs under OSX.

A few years ago my old Macbook was starting to feel the strain so I Hackintoshed a Dell PC and managed to get Logic running on it. I was quite pleased with myself as it took me weeks to get it working properly.

The set up worked reasonably well until about a month later when I stupidly accepted an automatic software update. This completely bolloxed the Mac side of the machine and after a few fruitless nights trying to get it back I spat the dummy, gave up and bought another Apple laptop.

Not only did Logic run much more smoothly on Apple kit but I realised that what little I have left of life is too short to be wasting by either (a) spending months poncing about with a lot of frustrating Hackintosh kiech, or (b) the several years I'd have to invest learning another bit of audio software as well as I know Logic.

So, I'll probably continue on my current path of renewing my Apple computer once every 3-4 years, financed in part by the healthy resale value of my existing kit - something I've never been able to say about any "generic X86 PC hardware" I've tried to sell.

8
8
Silver badge

Re: That's because

If specialist software locks you into expensive hardware that's unfortunate, but those of us free to choose can get like-for-like performance for less than the cost of the depreciation in an apple machine. Your "high resale value" blinds you to the false economy.

8
8

Re: That's because

I wanted an Asus or a Sony but the Macbook Air was cheaper, so I got the Mac :)

4
2

Re: That's because

I have 5, but there again I don't play games, games are for children

1
4
Bronze badge
Coat

Re: That's because

I don't know anyone who has an apple computer - does that balance?

1
0
Silver badge

Re: That's because

They're very popular in US academia, particularly in the humanities. I've avoided them myself, because I hate Apple's OSes (dealing with OS X via bash or ksh is bearable, but it's still inconvenient at best, since all the applications are GUI), but most of the academics I know have Macs.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: That's because

Sorry irongut, Mac's tend to live a longer life than PC's that get replaced every couple of years (maybe they go longer now since XP isn't an option for new models).

If you think that only stupid people buy a Mac, the next time you see a program on NASA, check out what the prevalent brand of laptop is around the conference tables. Yep, they're predominately Mac's.

0
1
Bronze badge

Re: That's because

Altium and Solidworks both work ok under VMware Fusion on a Mac Pro, but if you are using them all of the time, a PC (win7) custom built for SW is the way to go. At my last job I had both a Mac and a PC for SW and Eagle. The PC was not allowed on the internet and stayed and clean the whole 3 years I was there. For all of my other work, I much preferred my Mac.

I had SW on VMware on the Mac so I could grab stuff from Content Central. I was laughed at for being paranoid at first, but that faded as everybody else spent far more time than I did on bug hunts.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: That's because

You are aware that you can run other OSes on your Mac aren't you? In fact, Linux has saved my ass in recovering the Mac on more than one occasion - got to love that flexibility :)

0
0
Silver badge

Lenovo, no thanks.

I guess some of the IBM magic rubbed off on Lenovo, so I was unpleasantly surprised opening a four or five year old Lenovo desktop to see bulging capacitors like I've seen on "lesser" brand computers which were older.

Astonished this problem has gone on for so long.

Replaced the Lenovo with an Asus.

2
1
Anonymous Coward

Not at all surprising really. The initial rush of mobile devices is fading and people are coming to realize that they have to actually get some work done and a desktop computer is much better for that 90% of the time.

Yes, the desktop computer market will shrink a bit. No, the desktop computer market won't vanish any time soon.

9
0

XP replacements

<<<Not at all surprising really. The initial rush of mobile devices is fading and people are coming to realize that they have to actually get some work done and a desktop computer is much better for that 90% of the time.>>>

Now that XP is EOLed, a good portion of new PC sales are for replacement of old XP kit.

3
0

Legacy Windows Desktop PC under threat

At work we dock our Windows laptops into a docking station to get a decent mouse, keyboard and screen, and a power supply for the short-lived battery, on health and safety grounds.

However, I could do the same with my smartphone instead, and throw away my laptop.

In the short term I would use a Citrix session delivered to the attached screen to get the legacy Windows applications. In the longer term, I could run a full size browser to access the Cloud applications that will gradually replace them.

Then I can carry my 4oz PC in my pocket and use it as a smartphone when away from my desk, but use it as my mouse, keyboard and screen "PC" when docked at my desk to run my desktop applications on a large screen.

Most line of business apps will run happily through a browser today anyway, even though they are not yet Cloud-based. As as applications migrate to the Cloud, this will make the phone plus docking station plus browser the standard way to access all desktop applications that need mouse keyboard and screen. So the Windows desktop market does have a big threat hanging over it, and contrary to your rather old fashioned view, it may start a rapid decline within the next 36 months.

Peak Windows PC sales were 2011 when they averaged 90 million a quarter.

The quarterly PC sales mentioned in the article were 74 million, but 4 million of those were Apple Macs, and some were Chromebooks, so the Windows PC sales would be around 69 million.

Quite a drop from 90 million I would say. And that is before the effect that I am talking about starts to kick in.

1
2
Silver badge

Re: XP replacements

Now that XP is EOLed, a good portion of new PC sales are for replacement of old XP kit.

Very much my thought too. The trend for all computer vendors will be down, as the replacement cycle stretches from three years up to five, even eight years. Hardware doesn't wear out fast. Today's hardware is fast enough for most uses that people find for PCs, with huge amounts left in reserve for future software bloat.

Everyone who wants a Mac has got a Mac. Same for PC. Probably same for tablets soon if not already. There's a bulge in the PC replacement market caused by the EOL of XP and consequential replacement of many PCs 5+ years old that can't run more modern Windows well. It's distorting the figures.

In short, computer hardware is now a mature market.

BTW If you run Linux desktops in your business / school / home, you can acquire adequate hardware for free right now (i.e. ex-XP systems). You might even get paid a few quid to take it away.

1
0
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: Legacy Windows Desktop PC under threat

So will you do it?

0
0
MJI
Silver badge

Where do self builds come in?

This has always made me wonder

9
0
Silver badge

Re: Where do self builds come in?

Not counted.

Admittedly, that's a very small part of the market; probably well below 1% of the total. So, in a way, WE are the 1%. Yay us!

8
0
LDS
Silver badge

Re: Where do self builds come in?

It would be interesting to know how many "boxed" motherboards Asus & C. ships... most of them will be self-built PCs.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Where do self builds come in?

> It would be interesting to know how many "boxed" motherboards Asus & C. ships... most of them will be self-built PCs.

Not that simple, because of stock and volume effects. As an extreme example I recently rebuilt a Tru64 AlphaServer, for the heck of it (I am a an admirer of "seriously sturdy computers"). Also I do regularly engage in MoBo-replacement to Magic-up family PCs. I'm really THAT easy ;-)

Boxed MoBos sales won't tell you nuthin', because of the enthusiasts, the gamers, the geeks, and well, all deessa not meena much.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Where do self builds come in?

"So, in a way, WE are the 1%."

Excellent news! When can I expect my first multi million dollar taxpayer funded bailout?

3
0
MJI
Silver badge

Re: Where do self builds come in?

There is something about nice quality aftermarket kit. I am building 2 PCs for my twins and using middle market stuff.

Using ASUS motherboards, they do feel like a nice component.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Maybe because they're overpriced x86 tablet machines?

Can't swap the disk, can't add any RAM. All for £999+

5
0
Silver badge

Nothing wrong with Macs

at less than half the current retail price.

As the previous poster mentioned, can't be upgraded, so they are obsolete in a few years. Even though they are well engineered and well built kit, nothing would entice me to buy one. (I do graphic design amongst other things)

I am typing this on a machine that was once a 386SX (nothing of the original remains)

Apple roflmfao.

6
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: Nothing wrong with Macs

I suppose, with windows or even the bulging Linux, it is necessary to be able to "upgrade" the machine just to keep it responsive. That was certainly true for my last Windows system and it seems to be true for my work laptop. As for the Redhat I have to support at work, that seems to require constant "upgrade" at every new release.

My ancient OS X white laptop, on the other hand, seems not to lose any performance with upgrades. The only thing I have done is get a bigger disc because I was filling it with photos and documents. I then took advantage and got an SSD. Now, well, I have abandoned the idea of replacing it for the latest. The speed is b- brilliant and even thngs like Eclipse run well.

So, if you get the right spec. in the first place, I think the average Apple system will be fine for its decent length life. That, I think, is good as I buy the thing to use, not to have to "iupgrade" just to keep up with inefficient software and bloated OS patches and upgrades.

Plus, I am a real BSD bigot when it comes to my opinion of Linux.

7
3
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Nothing wrong with Macs

" Plus, I am a real BSD bigot when it comes to my opinion of Linux."

Me too, but I'm not as wise as you - very sensible to post that sort of comment anonymously around these here parts!

2
0
LDS
Silver badge

Re: Nothing wrong with Macs

That's only because Mac hw is always on the high-end side and thereby it has a longer life-span, it happens also with Windows (or Linux) machines if buy (or build) high-end ones. The one I built in 2005 happily run up to Windows 7 until last year - when it was turned into a NAS server - replaced by a new built one that easily outperforms any actual Mac and will do for a while.

Of course if you buy hw in the lower-end side because it's cheap cheap and can barely run actual OSes and software, it won't be able to run anything new within three years - the Law of Software Inflation says "software expands to fill the available hardware" - developers often target systems on the higher end side, and while Apple hardware evolve slower (especially because if you want Apple there's no competition), Windows and Linux machines hw evolve much faster - especially because there's a lot of competition and some software, even consumer ones like games, push the envelope.

2
1
Anonymous Coward

x86 to be abandoned?

Apple keep dumbing down their mac software.

Abandoning current Mac software users hints that higher profit ARM Macs are likely on the way.

0
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums