Mac Shipments Down in Q4 2019 Amid Overall PC Market Growth

faust

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
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Los Angeles, CA
If they start producing computers to the quality of the 16" MBP again, then there is no doubt in my mind that their sales will massively grow. To be honest, I was shocked to see how well Apple fared between Q1 2016 and Q4 2019 given how prodigiously bad their computers have been. Not sure wtf caused people to keep buying butterfly switch addled MacBooks from Apple to be honest, no amount of revision will ever fix that nightmare, and the only reason I nabbed a 16" MBP is because they did away with it in favor of returning to a scissor switch. 🤣
 
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chucker23n1

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Dec 7, 2014
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If Gartner is right about the 5.26 million, and IDC is wrong about 4.72 million, it paints a different picture. Then IDC would be reporting a 5.6% increase over their 4.98 million 4Q2018 figure.

These numbers are just guesses, since neither Gartner nor IDC knows what Apple’s sales are through their 500+ retail stores.

I’ll wait for the financials to be released in early Feb. to see how Mac sales are doing.
Yeah.

But there’s got to be a fair amount of people (in the hundreds of thousands, I’m guessing) who are holding off on a 13MBP purchase until it gets the new keyboard, especially now that Apple has basically acknowledged that this is something people want.

Given the registered model numbers that still haven’t been used, I wonder if the original plan was to release an Ice Lake-U or more likely Comet Lake-U 13MBP, but Intel (or another supplier?) screwed them at the last minute, so they only announced the 16. Then again, few rumors to that effect.
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors 603
Sep 12, 2017
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Its sad to see Apple neglecting the Mac in favor of mobile devices. Mac Market share is estimated to be around 15%. There is some serious space to grow. Mac used to be a preferred choice for students, now it seems like a luxury item like driving a Mercedes to your college.
Which Mac models do you feel are neglected?
 

chucker23n1

macrumors 68030
Dec 7, 2014
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  • A mac mini with an onboard GPU that won't drive a 5k screen well at all, and can't even run basic Apple arcade games well and feels incredibly hot to the touch even in Apple store under 0 load. I'm also reading that it has a lot of little niggly problems with bluetooth range and the like.
  • A mac mini with a blackmagic eGPU that costs as much as a similarly spec'd iMac, but with no screen.
  • A mac mini with an non-blackmagic eGPU that doesn't drive a 5k monitor because it's not thunderbolt. (and bonus, the 4k 27" monitors it can drive don't scale well to MacOS
It doesn’t matter. They could put a dGPU in, improve the cooling, and have the CPU cure cancer while on idle; the Mac mini still wouldn’t factor in meaningfully in quarterly sales numbers, because it’s a niche desktop. It’s probably around 5% of Mac sales at this point, if that.

While the Mac mini’s place in the lineup is interesting, it is completely immaterial to sales figures.
 

georgB

macrumors member
Jan 7, 2004
67
65
Europe
This drop isn’t surprising, considering the quality and pricing of Macs in recent years. But I can’t believe that Apple hasn’t known this trend for some time, so the question is whether they’re as interested in the Mac market as they used to be. In fact, my fear is that they might be considering dropping Macs altogether.
 

Abazigal

macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
12,088
9,845
Singapore
There are no doubt many people gloating and thinking this is retribution for Apple evidently having neglected the Mac.

While the Mac seems to be stagnating, Apple’s iphone sales are still going strong, and sales of the Apple Watch and AirPods have never been better. As far as Apple is concerned, wearables are the future, not the PC.

I feel part of the reason why wearables are doing so well is because Apple has been channeling more time and resources to them, possibly at the expense of the Mac.

Who is to say that such a trade off is not worth it from Apple’s perspective?
 

canopic

macrumors member
Aug 6, 2014
43
50
It doesn’t matter. They could put a dGPU in, improve the cooling, and have the CPU cure cancer while on idle; the Mac mini still wouldn’t factor in meaningfully in quarterly sales numbers, because it’s a niche desktop. It’s probably around 5% of Mac sales at this point, if that.

While the Mac mini’s place in the lineup is interesting, it is completely immaterial to sales figures.
That's a selective quote, I wasn't trying to suggest an improved mini would stem-the-tide of slightly falling Mac sales, I'd be suprised if it was even 5% of sales. I was just illustrating that across the whole mac lineup, there are landmines, major caveats and cruft gallore.

If a relative of mine wants an iPhone/iPad I don't even have to give them advice, they can just get whatever price bracket they fit into, everything is awesome. The 16gb base model used to be a landmine, but now that's gone. Everything is at minimum a great product. How it should be.

In comparison, the Mac lineup - even if they fix all the blatantly obvious issues in the coming months - if they ditch that all the woeful landfill-fodder 21" iMac HDD models and they move scissor on to at least all the Pro laptops, I'd still be on the phone telling them what to not get.
 

nikaru

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2009
503
249
Apple is fine with the number of Macs they’re selling at the current prices.

People have been complaining about the price of Macs for 35+ years. What’s new 🤷‍♂️
Obviously Apple are happy with the current prices because they have done nothing to change that pattern in the last 35+ years as you point out.

The problem is that virtually all brands, except for Asus have sold more laptops in the 4Q19 compared to 4Q18, so the Mac business isnt going well, or at least it is not gaing any grounds compared to the competition. The status of the Mac and its market shares, compared to the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch that virtually domiante their corresponding segments, is very poor. Macs business has not experimented any significant gain in terms of market share or profits in the last 10 years and that means it is not attracting new users.
 
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iPadified

macrumors regular
Apr 25, 2017
230
153
Address that monopoly of Windows in business and then you will see a bigger shift in market share.

Make poorer iOS devices and Mac sales will increase.

The performance increase needed for most people has levelled out and this will increase the usable time for a computer >10 years or until it breaks down.

The few % user upgrading their machines with third party components will not move the needle for Apple in terms of sales. These people provide much noise but hardly any income for Apple.

If Apple upgraded their machines regularly, poweruser would buy new machines every three-four years in order to stay on the front.
 
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playtech1

macrumors member
Oct 10, 2014
93
58
The competition in the 13 inch laptop space is pretty fierce these days. A Dell XPS 13 or HP X360 is not that far off Apple in quality and specification and is often cheaper.

Other brands like Razer, ASUS or MSI offer quirky features and innovation that might appeal to particular segments.

Apple really needs to sort out the 13 inch MBP and Air to tempt new users and to offer a compelling upgrade to existing owners. If I owned a 2016 13 inch MBP I struggle to see why I would be tempted to buy a 2019 one.

The 2018 Air not only struggles to differentiate itself from the 13 inch MBP, it now looks under-powered for a 13 inch device. Dual core and 8GB RAM in 2020? On a $1000 laptop?
 
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kazmac

macrumors G3
Mar 24, 2010
8,242
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Any place but here or there....
How about bringing build quality back to the Mac? Stop gimping the builds and internals.

Then start all models with 16gb of RAM and an SSD drive.

Release a Mac Mini with fixed WiFi and Bluetooth along with a decent GPU.

Finally, please fix the OS, "because...damn."
 

itguy06

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2006
822
1,064
Doesn’t surprise me at all. The top makers of Windows laptops are building incredible machines now that are full of innovative features that are actually useful. They also offer multiple, reasonably-priced display and accessory options. I’ve been a Mac user for years, but I’m currently finding it difficult to justify a Mac purchase.
This. Was a Mac user since 2001. When Windows was truly awful. In late 2016 I wanted a new laptop and wanted to get a Mac. But I wanted a touch screen laptop with a pen and a few other niceties. Waited for Apple to do something and we got the touch bar. Played with it in the Apple store and it seemed like a kludge more than anything useful. That and the insane prices and lack of ports put me on a pause. Certainly not the machine like my 2008 Macbook Pro.

At CES 2017 HP refreshed their Spectre X360 line. Ticked all the right boxes - 4k screen, 16GB, 512GB SSD, all metal build, full array of ports, Windows Hello, etc. $1600. Ordered one and am still using it today. The touchscreen is great and the machine is every bit as quiet and solid as a Mac. It's been an excellent machine that is every bit as good as the string of Macbooks. And about 1/2 the price of a similar Macbook. That's crazy especially considering you'd have to spend a few hundred in USB-C dongles to replicate the ports on the HP.

Liked that so much I added a Surface Pro to the family in 2018. Didn't expect to like it much but wanted to give it a try. I love that thing. It lives in my backpack and is what the iPad should have been. It lasts for a good while on a charge, has a great display, and runs real apps when I need them. I got the low end model and it was a good bit cheaper than an iPad Pro + Keyboard. And has 100x the functionality.

I want to buy Apple again but they really make nothing appealing. I can build myself a better system than the Mac Pro for far less cost. The iMacs are nice and I still own one but crazy expensive. The laptops, well, Tim really messed them up. The Mac Mini hasn't been updated in, what nearly a decade?

You look at what MS is doing with trying new things and you think "that's cool". Many will probably not stick but at least they are trying. What is Apple doing? Mediocre iPhone refreshes and expensive Macs with declining sales? Hmm, we've seen this story unfold before. I hope I know when to cash in my stock before it crashes and Tim ruins the company.
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors 603
Sep 12, 2017
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Obviously Apple are happy with the current prices because they have done nothing to change that pattern in the last 35+ years as you point out.

The problem is that virtually all brands, except for Asus have sold more laptops in the 4Q19 compared to 4Q18, so the Mac business isnt going well, or at least it is not gaing any grounds compared to the competition. The status of the Mac and its market shares, compared to the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch that virtually domiante their corresponding segments, is very poor. Macs business has not experimented any significant gain in terms of market share or profits in the last 10 years and that means it is not attracting new users.
Apple doesn’t care about market share, so what PC companies sell, while making few profits in their race to the bottom, doesn’t matter at all. It’s not a problem in the least. People are keeping their Macs longer and longer, and the installed base continues to grow. It’s well over a hundred million. Many buyers are first time Mac customers.

Things have changed a lot over the years. In 2002, 2003, 2004 Apple was selling only 3 million Macs a year. It wasn’t until 13 years ago they hit 5 million. 10 years ago they first hit 10 million/year.

But then Apple came out with iPad. Sure, sales are up 80% since then, but the simple fact is that iPads have cannibalized Mac sales. If Apple weren’t selling 40-45 million iPads per year, how many additional Macs would they sell? Who knows, you tell me.


85CCA0E2-DF5D-4DE3-A550-256005FD1D60.jpeg

Source: statista
 
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AndiG

macrumors regular
Nov 14, 2008
121
161
Germany
Apple should OpenSource macOS and enter the competition. Relying on the fact that you need a Mac to build iOS applications is not a reason to build good Macs. I doubt that the Mac would have today’s market share without the iPhone but without the iPhone we would have better Macs.
 
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robjulo

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2010
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Are you not aware of the keyboard issues? Your ”quality” take is really out of place, given all of the issues.

I laugh at articles like this. Apple has never had more market share than they do now and never will. The price point is way too high, as we all know. The quality though, is so much superior to windows crap and we also know it. Industry still purchases windows crap only because most of the IT idiots can’t do anything but windows and they are afraid to change because most of them won’t have a job. Apple doesn’t care about commerce, that has never been their interest. The phone is their money maker. Look how long it took to bring out a real MacPro desktop. Even my son, who is a lawyer, says that his office has gotten far away from Windows primarily because of security. His office runs Linus with a proprietary software package.
 
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Baymowe335

macrumors 603
Oct 6, 2017
5,677
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Let’s see what the real numbers say in February when Apple reports. These are guesses.
- - Post merged: - -

Are you not aware of the keyboard issues? Your ”quality” take is really out of place, given all of the issues.
The point remains. Keyboard “issues” are totally overstated here. The quality and long term usability of Macs is proven to be superior to Windows machines.
 
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Vjosullivan

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2013
831
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I don't think Apple measures its performance by number of units sold annually. And I think that is better for the environment and for its customers.

The meaningful number is macOS & iOS adoption. If that drops, then perhaps that is something for Apple to be concerned about.
Apple measures its performance by its profit figures and share price. Everything else is marketing.
- - Post merged: - -

I've had my current iMac longer than any computer that I've ever bought. I go to Apple's website occasionally to see the latest prices. But when I see the cost to upgrade the SSD, I close the webpage.
Any brand of SSD (that meets the specifications) will run perfectly fine in an iMac and takes about two minutes to install. Apple sourced SSDs don't come with any special properties.
- - Post merged: - -

I only see PC laptops in the wild. It's called the corporate world.
And the gaming world. When was the last time - if ever - any Apple product was bought as a competative games platform.
 
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Vjosullivan

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2013
831
949
Apple is fine with the number of Macs they’re selling at the current prices.
You have no idea if that is true or not.
- - Post merged: - -

I'm an IT security nerd. Your justification for Mac is summed up with one word: ransomware.
One hit and you would have just paid for the defense against that with your Mac. Get a Mac. Don't look back. You can't buy enough anti-Crap for Windows to avoid today's harsh landscape.
I have not installed any anti-virus software on any PCs that I've owned in the past fifteen years. Never had a virus problem.
- - Post merged: - -

Apple doesn’t care about market share.
Apple might not care any more but Steve Jobs absolutely did.
 
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robvs

macrumors newbie
Jul 1, 2009
7
1
Since Mac owners tend to use their computers longer than PC users, I don't think that counting shipments of new machines is the best metric. According to Net Marketshare, the actual Mac market share is around 11%, which is up ~0.5% from a year ago and up ~1% from two years ago.
 
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georgB

macrumors member
Jan 7, 2004
67
65
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The quality and long term usability of Macs is proven to be superior to Windows machines.
Yes, but that’s no reason to cheer. It’s what has kept me, an Apple user since the ’80’s, relatively happy with my 6-year-old MBAir, and not too unhappy with Mojave. But the “it just works” meme which Steve Jobs regularly trotted out, which used to be largely true, hasn’t been applicable for years now. The Macs themselves and the OS are no longer the reliable premium products they used to be, which were worth the price. I’d be very pleased to get a newer, better Mac, but the current offerings are only newer, but not even as good as what I’ve got.

I got my first Apple computer, an Apple IIc, in 1984, began buying their stock shortly after, and have been using Macs ever since. As an Apple stockholder I’m pleased as punch with my investment, but as a Mac user I’m sorely disappointed.