When you are listening to PC manufacturers and analysts, there is a certain pessimism in the air that the market is becoming increasingly vulnerable and may not be able to sustain its growth. At least in 2007 and especially in the fourth quarter of last year, all major PC manufacturers showed healthy growth rates, deep in the double-digit range. Especially Apple was able to post stunning growth rates in its unit shipments.
The overall increase in unit shipments for the PC industry in Q4 2007 was 14.1%, but all of the world’s six largest manufacturers were able to achieve numbers significantly higher than that. HP, in position one, posted a growth of 25.5%, Dell bounced back to 17.4%, Acer (thanks to the acquisition of Gateway) saw a 25.0% increase, Lenovo 21.3% and Toshiba 25.3%.
Apple remains the shining star at #6 in the list with 39.3% shipment growth. According to iSuppli, Apple shipped 2.2 million PCs in the fourth quarter, up from about 1.6 million a year earlier. Despite its sharp growth, however, Apple has not increased its market share by much – it is still estimated to hold about 2.9%, which is just about in line with what it has been for several years. That is, of course, because the strong percentage growth is a drop in the bucket when it comes to the shipments numbers of the industry: HP was able to increase its shipments by almost 3 million units to 14.5 million, Dell gained more than 1.6 million to 11.3 million and Acer jumped by more than 1.5 million to 7.2 million units.
iSuppli estimated that about 76.2 million PCs were shipped in Q4 2007 and 268.4 million over the course of the entire year.