Apple's Share of Notebook Market Took a Hit Last Quarter Due to Lack of New MacBook and MacBook Pro

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Apple recently reported sales of 3.72 million Macs in the third quarter, its fewest in any quarter since 2010. It was also the first time Apple sold fewer than four million Macs in any quarter since 2013.


For that reason, it should come as no surprise that Apple's share of the worldwide notebook market took a hit last quarter.

Taiwanese research firm TrendForce estimates that Apple accounted for 6.5 percent of notebook shipments worldwide in the third quarter, a considerable decline over its estimated 10 percent market share in the year-ago quarter.

The decline resulted in Apple dropping below Acer and ranking sixth among notebook vendors, in terms of global shipments, in the third quarter. The top five spots were held by HP at 26.2 percent, Lenovo at 20 percent, Dell at 19.6 percent, Acer at 8 percent, and ASUS at 7.4 percent, according to TrendForce.

It's important to note that Apple doesn't break down its Mac sales on a model-by-model basis in its earnings reports, so TrendForce's data is estimated, likely based in part on the average selling price of a Mac.


There's a pretty simple explanation for the decline in sales last quarter: nearly every product in the Mac lineup was outdated.

Both the 12-inch MacBook and iMac lines haven't been refreshed since June 2017, while the MacBook Air hasn't received any substantial updates since 2015. Likewise, the latest Mac mini is from October 2014, and the Mac Pro hasn't been updated since December 2013, but an all-new version is coming in 2019.

It certainly didn't help that Apple refreshed the MacBook Pro in mid July, nearly two weeks after the quarter ended. Apple's financial chief Luca Maestri highlighted this "difficult launch comparison" in the company's earnings call:
Our year-over-year sales performance was impacted by the different timing of the MacBook Pro launch...
Mac sales should rebound in the near future, however, as TrendForce expects Apple to release a new MacBook Air at the end of the third quarter, while respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the 12-inch MacBook, iMac, and Mac mini lines to be updated later this year--likely by the end of October.

Article Link: Apple's Share of Notebook Market Took a Hit Last Quarter Due to Lack of New MacBook and MacBook Pro
 

BGarza

macrumors member
May 11, 2016
51
71
San Francisco



Apple recently reported sales of 3.72 million Macs in the third quarter, its fewest in any quarter since 2010. It was also the first time Apple sold fewer than four million Macs in any quarter since 2013.


For that reason, it should come as no surprise that Apple's share of the worldwide notebook market took a hit last quarter.

Taiwanese research firm TrendForce estimates that Apple accounted for 6.5 percent of notebook shipments worldwide in the third quarter, a considerable decline over its estimated 10 percent market share in the year-ago quarter.

The decline resulted in Apple dropping below Acer and ranking sixth among notebook vendors, in terms of global shipments, in the third quarter. The top five spots were held by HP at 26.2 percent, Lenovo at 20 percent, Dell at 19.6 percent, Acer at 8 percent, and ASUS at 7.4 percent, according to TrendForce.

It's important to note that Apple doesn't break down its Mac sales on a model-by-model basis in its earnings reports, so TrendForce's data is estimated, likely based in part on the average selling price of a Mac.


There's a pretty simple explanation for the decline in sales last quarter: nearly every product in the Mac lineup was outdated.

Both the 12-inch MacBook and iMac lines haven't been refreshed since June 2017, while the MacBook Air hasn't received any substantial updates since 2015. Likewise, the latest Mac mini is from October 2014, and the Mac Pro hasn't been updated since December 2013, but an all-new version is coming in 2019.

It certainly didn't help that Apple refreshed the MacBook Pro in mid July, nearly two weeks after the quarter ended. Apple's financial chief Luca Maestri highlighted this "difficult launch comparison" in the company's earnings call:Mac sales should rebound in the near future, however, as TrendForce expects Apple to release a new MacBook Air at the end of the third quarter, while respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the 12-inch MacBook, iMac, and Mac mini lines to be updated later this year--likely by the end of October.

Article Link: Apple's Share of Notebook Market Took a Hit Last Quarter Due to Lack of New MacBook and MacBook Pro
If I was in charge, I would space out a few of these smaller product line launches to gather more thunder. Even a if they only put out a modest spec bump on the existing Mac Mini every other year, it could have helped them from falling into this hole. They need a new department.... "Department of Forgotten Toys"
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
7,946
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Seattle, WA
We saw this in 2016 before they launched the new MacBook Pro and then again in early 2017 before they updated most of the line at WWDC (as well as confirmed a new Mac Pro was in development) so neither surprised nor worried. Plus Intel having stuffed their 10nm process so badly in terms of launch and production ramp has not helped Apple try to keep the line current.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,070
14,893
Central U.S.
Unfortunately they'll likely use this as an excuse for cutting back on Mac updates even more and consolidating the lines down to only a few options. It's a self-perpetuating train wreck. The Mac is how people get work done. You can't tell me that all those designers and engineers in Apple are using iPad Pros to build these rumored 8K VR headsets, Apple Cars, the new iPhone lineup, or finish dev on iOS 12. I'm hopeful since they hired all those creatives to help them design better professional Mac hardware, but at the same time I feel like we haven't seen many fruits of that labor yet so I don't want to get my hopes up too high.
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
7,946
4,162
Seattle, WA
Unfortunately they'll likely use this as an excuse for cutting back on Mac updates even more and consolidating the lines down to only a few options. It's a self-perpetuating train wreck.
And yet many people in this forum have been pining for the "good old days" when Steve came back and consolidated the entire Mac family into four products. :D
 

mikethemartian

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2017
584
837
Melbourne, FL
Unfortunately they'll likely use this as an excuse for cutting back on Mac updates even more and consolidating the lines down to only a few options. It's a self-perpetuating train wreck. The Mac is how people get work done. You can't tell me that all those designers and engineers in Apple are using iPad Pros to build these rumored 8K VR headsets, Apple Cars, the new iPhone lineup, or finish dev on iOS 12. I'm hopeful since they hired all those creatives to help them design better professional Mac hardware, but at the same time I feel like we haven't seen many fruits of that labor yet so I don't want to get my hopes up too high.
They are probably using Windows and Linux machines. At least in the labs where they have to integrate with test equipment.
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2011
5,891
6,040
NC
The Macbook Air, Mac Mini and Mac Pro haven't been updated in a long time. They're "old" sure... but they were "old" in previous quarters too when Mac sales did well. So I can't imagine the Air, Mini and Mac Pro being the reasons for this recent quarter's slump in sales.

The rest of the Mac lineup, however, has followed a somewhat decent update schedule since 2015:

Macbook
Early 2015
Early 2016
Mid 2017

iMac
Mid 2015
Late 2015
Mid 2017

Macbook Pro
Early 2015
Mid 2015
Late 2016
Mid 2017
Mid 2018

The iMac had the biggest gap in updates... while the Macbook and Macbook Pro have received some kind of yearly updates in recent years.

And I'm guessing there will be an announcement soon about updates for the 2018 model year.

I know this TrendForce estimate was written in August 2018 immediately following Apple's worse Mac sales quarter. But the outlook will likely improve later this year.

So let's see what happens between now and December.
 
Last edited:

PhilaPHL

macrumors newbie
Sep 22, 2016
7
8
‘It’s the keyboard stupid’
Price may be a minor issue but it’s ok to be expensive if it’s a damn tank of a machine.

A Laptop needs 2 things: a great screen and a great keyboard/touchpad, the rest is style.
They failed at the keyboard, made personnel changes and have a chance to fix it next release.
We use the laptops for many different reasons but the vast majority of us need a screen and a keyboard.
Failing that and it’s back to the bloated software company for me.
I am a fan, but not a captive.
 

mrzz

Suspended
Mar 25, 2017
290
507
another bad MBP release won't help that much either - missing important details, crappy keyboard and overpriced
 

Sedulous

Contributor
Dec 10, 2002
2,482
2,439
The state of apple’s computer offerings is dire. I no longer advise people to buy new Macs. The price/hardware design are major downsides... and personally will not buy a computer that lacks removable storage (or even a lifeboat connector). It is quite frankly not very “Pro” that Apple has intentionally eliminated any future-proofing with the soldered-everything in a too-thin enclosure that will likely die an early heat-death.

That doesn’t help sales either.
 

JitteryJimmy

macrumors member
Apr 12, 2008
39
14
And yet many people in this forum have been pining for the "good old days" when Steve came back and consolidated the entire Mac family into four products. :D
That's because Job's vision of four products also specified them to be champions within their market. Even "Windows" users were buying Macs just to run Windows. Even the plastic MacBook had a strong CPU and substantial storage compared to its "Pro" counterpart. These days, every Mac product comes with its own list of well known limitations and compromises. And the non-Pro models are particularly weak in terms of price/performance ratio.
 
Last edited:

RedTomato

macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2005
4,042
337
.. London ..
I bought and set up three brand new 2017 MBA 13 inchers last month for my boss. They’re still lovely machines and the CPU is fine for the jobs we need them for but the price for what they are is hard to swallow.

Put a retina screen on them, and a bit more storage on the low end (offering 128GB non-upgradeable should be illegal) and drop the price, and maybe add the fingerprint scanner or facescanner from the iPhone and they would still be God’s own laptop for a few more years to come for most people.

To be honest they don’t really need to have Thunderbolt - Apple could drop that to cut costs and differentiate between the Airs and Pros and I doubt many people would complain. USB 3 is enough for most use cases.
 

4jasontv

macrumors 68040
Jul 31, 2011
3,272
3,357
I bought and set up three brand new 2017 MBA 13 inchers last month for my boss. They’re still lovely machines and the CPU is fine for the jobs we need them for but the price for what they are is hard to swallow.

Put a retina screen on them, and a bit more storage on the low end (offering 128GB non-upgradeable should be illegal) and drop the price, and maybe add the fingerprint scanner or facescanner from the iPhone and they would still be God’s own laptop for a few more years to come for most people.

To be honest they don’t really need to have Thunderbolt - Apple could drop that to cut costs and differentiate between the Airs and Pros and I doubt many people would complain. USB 3 is enough for most use cases.
I’d rather they differentiate the with the GPU. Make the MacBook with integrated graphics and give the MacBook Pro a dedicated card. The MacBook can be thin-thin-thin, and the pro pow-pow-powerful.
 
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