Is Apple Selling More or Fewer Macs?

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An employee and a customer look at an Apple’s Macbook computer in a new Apple store on July 6, 2013 in Rosny-sous-Bois, near Paris.

Apple won 13.7% of the U.S. PC market in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to Gartner. Even while the PC market overall has been sliding fast — down 7.5% in the U.S. and 6.9% worldwide — Apple is bucking the trend, whose market share has increased almost 30%.

Apple isn’t just reaping the benefits of a shrinking market. The company sold 2.2 million Macs in Q4, which is half a million more than it sold during the same period last year. Among PC vendors, it was by far the biggest increase, although Lenovo and Dell also saw gains, the Gartner report shows.

If you ask IDC, however, the picture is much different. According to its preliminary Q4 numbers, Apple’s sales slid along with almost everyone else’s, selling just 1.6 million Macs, or 5.7% fewer than it did a year ago.

Apple had a strong fall product offering, with significant upgrades to its MacBook Pro and iMac products (both of which garnered favorable reviews), which tend to support Gartner’s numbers. However, the PC market is definitely in decline overall, which affects sales of MacBooks, too. We’ll get a clearer picture of who’s right on Jan. 27, when Apple releases its quarterly earnings.

At least both data firms agree on one thing: Lenovo is now the top PC vendor in the world, beating everyone else in worldwide numbers, including former leader HP. Although the Chinese company is still behind American firms HP and Dell in the U.S., its share grew by 3.5% year over year while HP’s fell 10.3%, according to Gartner. IDC’s numbers show even greater growth in the U.S., with Lenovo’s sharing increasing 10.8%.

Image: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

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