The Mac grew by 49% in Q4 of 2020, outpacing every major PC brand

MacBook Pro keyboard
MacBook Pro keyboard (Image credit: Rene Ritchie/iMore)

What you need to know

  • The Mac outpaced the PC market in growth for Q4 2020.
  • Apple has increased its market share to 8%.

A new report from analytics firm IDC reveals that Apple has experienced industry-leading growth in its Mac business in the fourth quarter of 2020. While the market as a whole grew by 26.1% for Q4 of 2020, Apple's Mac business grew by 49.2% and increased its market share to 8%.

With the pandemic still in full swing, traditional PCs (inclusive of desktops, notebooks, and workstations) were once again an in-demand consumer technology. The fourth quarter of 2020 (4Q20) saw global shipments grow 26.1% year over year to 91.6 million units, according to preliminary results from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. The same category of devices grew 13.1% year over year for the full year 2020 with the catalysts being work from home, remote learning, and restored consumer demand.

Idc Pc Shipments Q4 2020

Idc Pc Shipments Q4 2020 (Image credit: IDC)

When comparing the calendar year 2020 to 2019, Apple still led the industry with 29.1% growth, increasing its market share from 6.7% to 7.6%.

Idc Pc Shipments 2020

Idc Pc Shipments 2020 (Image credit: IDC)

Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC's Mobile Device Trackers, says that the entire market has continued to struggle to keep up with consumer and business demand.

"Every segment of the supply chain was stretched to its limits as production once again lagged behind demand during the quarter ... Not only were PC makers and ODMs dealing with component and production capacity shortages, but logistics remained an issue as vendors were forced to resort to air freight, upping costs at the expense of reducing delivery times."

Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, says that this level of performance is not expected to wane anytime soon based on the increased demand for gaming PCs, monitors, and Chrome-based machines.

"Demand is pushing the PC market forward and all signs indicate this surge still has a way to go ... The obvious drivers for last year's growth centered around work from home and remote learning needs, but the strength of the consumer market should not be overlooked. We continue to see gaming PCs and monitor sales at all-time highs and Chrome-based devices are expanding beyond education into the consumer market. In retrospect, the pandemic not only fueled PC market demand but also created opportunities that resulted in a market expansion."

Apple had reported a record-breaking quarter for the Mac as well during its Q4 earnings call, but it is interesting to see how Apple's performance lined up against other brands in the PC space.

Joe Wituschek
Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

4 Comments
  • Please. You are better than this. No one "leads the industry" from a very distant 4th place. Lenovo is the clear leader here. Lenovo shipped more PCs in the 4th quarter than Apple shipped all year. THAT is "leading the industry". Percentage growth is THE most misleading statistic. If I sold nothing in 2019, and ONE in 2020, that is 100% growth. Is that "leading the industry"?
  • Hey, there are three kinds of lies. Lies, dam lies, and statistics.
    (I know how to spell ****, they just censor it that way)
    BTW you need to have sold 1 in 2019 and 2 in 2020 for a 100% growth. 100% growth over 0 is still 0. ;)
  • I'd love to know the breakdown of M1 units and Intel units. Can't believe that the M1 didn't play a huge part in the growth (he writes from an Mi Mac).
  • There may also be the 'better get an Intel Mac now, effect. A brand new one will be viable for over 5 more years probably, but may not be available next year.