Apple’s Mac sales surge on WFH, home schooling and M1 boost
Driven by interest in the M1 chip, Mac sales are surging as COVID-19 drives enterprises to seek out mobile solutions for their remote working teams, with IDC reporting shipments climbed 49% in Q4.
People like Macs
The truth is there was growth across the PC market which generated a better quarterly growth than since 2010 with 91.6 million sales. All the same, while Apple’s share grew 49%, market growth hit 26.1 per cent, IDC said.
There seems to be some momentum here. Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers said: “Demand is pushing the PC market forward and all signs indicate this surge still has a way to go,” noting the drive comes from WFH and remote learning needs.
With all the other challenges, no surprise demand has generated difficultieds across the PC supply chain.
“Every segment of the supply chain was stretched to its limits as production once again lagged behind demand during the quarter,” said Jitesh Ubrani research manager for IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers.
“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.”
What’s also quite interesting for Apple is that while it generated 49.2% Mac sales growth in Q4, it only hit 29.1% over the entire year. Might this suggest those in the market for new Macs held back for the first Apple Silicon models? IDC reckons Apple shifted c. 23 million Macs in 2020.
‘PC industry is moving at breakneck speed’
The IDC claims are supported by Canalys. Which claims Apple shipped 22.6 million Macs in 2020, up 16% and still sees apple as a top 5 PC maker.
“These latest numbers exclude tablets. Ongoing strong demand in the holiday season led to a third consecutive quarter of sequential growth, with shipments in Q4 up 13% sequentially over what was a stellar performance in Q3. On the back of this remarkable recovery after a supply-constrained Q1, total PC shipments in 2020 grew 11% to reach 297.0 million units. This represents the highest full-year growth since 2010 and the highest shipment volume since 2014. Worldwide PC market growth in 2020 was singlehandedly driven by notebooks and mobile workstations. Shipments of these devices increased 44% from 2019 to reach 235.1 million units. Conversely, desktop and desktop workstation shipments fell 20% from last year to reach 61.9 million units in 2020.”
“2021 is shaping up to be an even more exciting year for PCs, with vendors and ecosystem players refusing to rest on their laurels as they compete for the new demand opportunities that have emerged in 2020,” said Ishan Dutt, Analyst at Canalys.
“Innovations in chipsets, operating systems, connectivity and form factors will take center stage as the PC industry caters to a broader range of customers that bring with them new behaviors and use cases. From Apple and Microsoft’s new custom silicon to the exciting platform updates to Chrome and Windows, the PC industry is moving at breakneck speed to cater to its newfound user base. While supply shortages continue to dampen the market in the short term, Canalys believes most wrinkles will be ironed out by the second half of 2021.”