Apple was the manufacturer that shrunk its PC shipments the most in 2016, with its Mac laptops and desktops ceding 9.8% market share to other companies, according to a report from analyst firm IDC.
Overall, 2016 marked the fifth consecutive year of decline in the overall PC industry, with a 5.7% dip in PC shipments from 2015. Dell was the biggest winner for the year, showing a 4.3% gain in shipments.
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We already had some signs in the middle of 2016 that it was going to be a rough year for Apple: In the second and third quarters of the year, shipments of Apple’s Macs were declining way faster than industry average, as people waited impatiently for the company to release a new MacBook Pro.
The fourth quarter of 2016 went a little better for Apple. That new MacBook Pro, which arrived in October 2016, stabilized things for Apple, and it saw a meager .8% decline over the same period in 2015, according to IDC. But it wasn’t enough to totally regain the ground that Apple had already lost to Windows-based PCs earlier in the year.
Meanwhile, some of Apple’s biggest fans feel forced to buy ‘pathetic’ and ‘old’ Macs from 2013, as the company doesn’t offer desktop and laptops to suit their needs. And Microsoft says that Apple fans disappointed over the newest MacBook Pro are leaving Macs behind entirely and coming over to its Surface devices.
Apple’s strategy has always been to focus on the higher end of the market, where it makes more money selling fewer computers, so the fact that it increased its market share by 7.4% is still good news. And there are larger trends at play here, as people generally keep their PCs longer.
Still, coming out of a year when Apple posted its first annual loss in revenue since 2001, and when Mac fans are concerned that the computers are no longer a priority at the company, it’s not an encouraging statistic.