MacBook Pro keyboardSource: 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 2020Source: 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 2020Source: 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.