Mac sales slowest in two years, say researchers, but still well ahead of the rest of the PC industry


While research firms IDC and Gartner disagree on whether Mac sales are falling or rising, they do agree on two things: Q3 Mac sales were at their most sluggish for two years, but still well ahead of the rest of the PC industry.

Ahead of new retina 4K iMac and likley accessories launch next week, IDC estimated that Apple sold 5.3M Macs in Q3 2015, a year-on-year fall of 3.4%. Gartner instead estimated 5.6M sales, representing a 1.5% increase. Both firms did, however, agree on two pieces of good news for Apple … 

First, both sets of figures show that Apple is outperforming the PC market as a whole, which fell by either 7.7% (Gartner) or 10.8% (IDC). Second, both agree that Apple increased its market share: from 6.9% to either 7.5% (IDC) or 7.6% (Gartner).

Both firms said that Apple is losing out on overseas sales, reports the WSJ.

Mac sales may have slowed due to a strong U.S. dollar, which made the computers more expensive outside the U.S., said Jay Chou, an IDC analyst.

Apple was hurt by weak markets in Japan and Europe, said  Mikako Kitagawa, a Gartner analyst.

We’ll have to wait until later this month to see the actual figures, when Apple reports Mac sales as part of its calendar Q3/fiscal Q4 earnings report on October 27.



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  1. Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

    I wish they would do Global Sales AND US sales rather than just US sales. Isn’t China starting to increase for Apple? That’s the next big market that’s eventually going to surpass the US market. Boy, doesn’t that make us more like a 3rd world country??? :-)

    • 89p13 - 7 years ago

      Maybe at first glance – but when you figure in the populations of China vs the US.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 7 years ago

      These are global sales. US sales are also shown in the linked pieces.

  2. yes, not only strong dollar, but an iMac costs about a 20 % more in Europe than in the US. $1,000 and 1 200 €.

    • standardpull - 7 years ago

      In some places in Europe, Apple actually adds taxes into the published price, and in some places in Europe Apple extends the warranty to be more than one year! Some Apple retail employees in Europe get many more than 10 days of paid time off!!! CRAZY!

      Apple should end these insane, expensive business practices in Europe so that prices will be the same.

    • pdixon1986 - 7 years ago

      They always base it on the current economy of the country they are selling in.
      But if you know anyone in America who is a student, and you happen to be visiting them – buy a laptop in America.
      That’s what I did a few years back and I got mine half the price of the U.K. Lol

    • j0hnf23 - 7 years ago

      it’s a shame… -.- they didn’t lower the prices at this level when the € was strong.

  3. lkrupp215 - 7 years ago

    The problem as always with articles like this one is that the tech media will leave out “… but still well ahead of the rest of the PC industry” and concentrate on “… Mac sales were at their most sluggish for two years”

    We’ve heard the phrase many times “too big to fail” in regards to financial institutions. In Apple’s case it has been modified to “too big and MUST fail”

  4. Stephan Kippe - 7 years ago

    The Gartner numbers do NOT say that Mac sales are the most sluggish, but that Mac sales GROWTH is the most sluggish. Important distinction.

  5. standardpull - 7 years ago

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I get a lot of mileage out of my Macs. They’re quite reliable in general, and have been getting better.

    Of the equipment I support, the only Mac’s I have that died a total death was due to (1) lightning strike, and (2) water damage. I’m sure some people have different stories, but in general they keep on ticking.

    • Jake Becker - 7 years ago

      I’ve had only one main big issue with my 2011 iMac, and it was………………..the power cord. A $10 fix, no joke, was the reason the computer kept spontaneously shutting off and not coming back on.

      • jnuneznj - 7 years ago

        I was ready to upgrade my MacMini but then they released that shitbox of a computer. I don’t need an iMac and I always max out the RAM through the years at a cost that is cheaper than Apple by more than 50%.

  6. appl4ever - 7 years ago

    Well I’ve been waiting on an updated iMac or Mac Pro…

  7. Last year €150-200,- price increase on every Mac didn’t helped that much. Thanks to Greece and the strong Dollar. And slow or minimal hardware updates on the Mac Pro, MacBook line, Cinema Display etc. For example the price difference in the US and EU of the MacBook Pro 15” high end is $600,- ….

  8. elme26bih - 7 years ago

    This isn’t a surprise for me. I think many customers are waiting for a new mac. And many people don’t need a mac or pc anymore.
    A big thing with macs is: The lifetime! 5 or 6 years is nothing for a mac. (Thats one reason why i’m loving my macs.)

    Sorry for my bad english.

  9. Jamison.IO (@Jamison_IO) - 7 years ago

    When you have <5% of a market it is pretty easy to outpace in terms of growth compare to the market dominator.

  10. davidt4n - 7 years ago

    Hope it’s time for Apple to reduce the price. Still there are many people out there wanna have their own Mac besides iOS devices. If I don’t remember wrongly last time Apple did upgrade better hardware for MacBook Air and Pro at reduced price due to the lower sales recorded.

    • elme26bih - 7 years ago

      It’s not all about the price. They’re different places where people can buy macs. Here in Germany you can buy macs with a discount of 150-300€. This is a just a simple question: Is it worth to spend the money?
      For someone the answer is: “Yes!” For someone the answer is: “No!”

      Sorry for my bad English.

  11. shareef777 - 7 years ago

    I can help! Just release the new 15″ MacBooks with Skylake, USB-C, and Thunderbolt3!

    • denneysloots - 7 years ago

      Same here ( Holland ). Here are people waiting ( according to big tech forum like ) to buy a new Macbook.. Just release them with skylake! Those Broadwell and Haswell are old architectures.

  12. Robert Dupuy - 7 years ago

    I think its pretty amazing Apple is up to 7.5% world wide market share.

    My two mac’s are a 2009 Mac Pro- with 12-core 3.46ghz xeons – I am not tempted to upgrade at all.
    And a mid-2012 macbook pro, i7 w/retina. On single core tasks it’s even faster than the mac pro.

    So – a 6 year old mac and a 3 year old mac….

    I remember when you had to upgrade more often, but it’s just not tempting any more – the machines are plenty fast. It’s not like when you have a 68030 and the 68040 just blows it away….heck intel doesn’t even change the marketing name… I don’t know what generation my i7 might be, and I don’t care either.

  13. Joseph Frye - 7 years ago

    I love Macs, but they are still way overpriced. $200 for an 8 GB memory upgrade when I can get the same thing on Amazon for < $50. Apple sells 512 GB SSD upgrade for $300, but I can get it on Amazon for $150-$200, plus Apple should give money back for not getting the default configuration.

  14. applegetridofsimandjack - 7 years ago

    The retina Macbook Pro 15inch should drop in price dramatically. It’s just too expensive.

  15. Laurent Seroude - 7 years ago

    Cannot replace my 17′ MacBook Pro, Cannot buy Mac mini and upgrade ram/drive anymore, MacPro not updated for 2 years. Also cannot buy iWatch (does not work with iPod Touch/Mac) or replace my iPod classic….Apple really does not want me to replace my apple hardware….

  16. So, where’s mac pro in this equation? Actually, where’s mac pro in the picture?

  17. Hopefully with Skylake and MacBook refreshes across the board, sales will be boosted.

  18. In Spain, prices are too high. And Skylake hasn’t appeared yet.. Plus, Macbook’s Intel Core M is a little S*it xD

  19. Oflife (@oflife) - 7 years ago

    Apple have not innovated in form factor on the (all in one) desktop since the original flat screen iMac (the cool one with the goose neck screen above the round base), except for the 5K iMac, which is more of a logical upgrade. On the other hand, Windows machines are equipped with touch screens, which not only make creative apps easier to navigate (pinch to zoom in Photoshop etc) but great for kids who can paint with their fingers, browse photos etc.

    There’s the amazing Sprout PC from HP that is the sort of thing you would expect from Apple.

    Can the ghost of Steve please permeate the senior designer(s) at Apple and inspire them to innovate again in the areas of ergonomics.


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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