16-inch MacBook ProSource: Rene Ritchie / iMore

What you need to know

  • A Gartner report indicates that shipments of Mac fell 3% year-over-year in Q4.
  • Decline is despite the PC market's first signs of growth in 7 years.
  • Apple's worldwide marketshare also declined to 7.5%.

A report from research and advisory company, Gartner, released today indicates that Apple's worldwide shipments of Macs has declined year-over-year. According to the press release, in Q4 2019 Macs dropped 3% when compared to 2018, with an estimated 5.26 million shipments reported, down from 5.42 million previously.

Garnet estimated Q4 2019 PC shipment dataSource: Gartner

Apple's worldwide marketshare also took a hit, dropping to an estimated 7.5% of the overall market, down from 7.9% in Q4 2018. The decline in Mac shipments comes at a time where overall PC shipments were actually up for the first time in seven years, seeing growth of 2.3% year-over-year, and 0.6% for all of 2019.

"The PC market experienced growth for the first time since 2011, driven by vibrant business demand for Windows 10 upgrades, particularly in the U.S., EMEA and Japan," said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner.

The report continues with an estimation of 2019's shipment totals, also showing a decline for Apple in both growth and marketshare. For 2019, Apple's total Mac shipments are pegged at 18.35 million, down from 18.52 million across 2018, and marketshare dropped 0.9%, finishing at 7% for the year.

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Gartner 2019 PC shipment dataSource: Gartner

Apple's 7% marketshare for 2019 puts the company as the 4th largest PC vendor worldwide, which is the same as it was for 2018. The top 3 vendors include Lenovo with an estimated marketshare of 24.1%, HP at 22.2%, and Dell with 16.8% for 2019.

Despite the signs of life for the overall PC market, Gartner maintains that the consumer PC market will see a steady decline over the course of the next 5 years, but advancements for foldables is something that they will "keep an eye on".

Looking ahead, Gartner predicts a continuous decline in the consumer PC market over the next five years. Product innovation is one of the key factors that will enable the overall PC market to maintain sustainable growth. We've already started to see this through the 'foldable laptops' introduced at CES this past week along with initiatives that make PCs as easy as smartphones by allowing users to always be connected and ensuring a worry-free battery life. Such innovations that change user behavior and create new product segments are something to keep an eye on in 2020 and beyond

As always, the numbers provided by Gartner are an estimation, and the actual numbers are no longer being reported by Apple, so there could certainly be some variances. Gartner's report also notes that the data only includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums like the Microsoft Surface line. Chromebook's and Apple's iPad sales are not included, and all of the numbers are stating as being estimates that are subject to change.