Why HP remains the top US PC player as Apple’s Mac sales slump

Puneet Sikka

Why a slower-than-expected fall in PC shipments helps Microsoft (Part 2 of 5)

(Continued from Part 1)

HP maintains its top position in the U.S. PC market

In the previous article of this series, we discussed how the slower-than-expected PC market decline is a boost to Microsoft (MSFT), and how Lenovo (LNVGY) has surpassed HP (HPQ) in the worldwide PC market for the top position. Here, we’ll discuss how although HP lost its top position in the world, it remains a leader in the U.S. According to Gartner, HP maintained its dominant position in the U.S. PC market with a share of 25.1% in Q1 2014, while Dell (DELL) was closing down on HP with a share of 23.8%. Apple (AAPL) and Lenovo fought for the third position, with Apple slightly ahead with 10.8% market share compared to 10.4% for Lenovo.

Apple’s declining Mac sales are a surprise

According to Gartner’s previous quarter report, Apple’s share in the U.S. PC market had jumped from 9.9% in Q4 2012 to 13.7% in Q4 2013, while Mac sales increased from about 1.7 million to 2.2 million. However, according to the latest Gartner report, Mac’s sales have declined from 1.58 million in Q1 2013 to 1.52 million in Q1 2014. This has come as a surprise, especially after Apple’s stellar last quarter.

U.S. PC market could rebound as tablets penetration increases

According to Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, “While the PC market remains weak, it is showing signs of improvement compared to last year. The PC professional market generally improved in regions such as EMEA. The U.S. saw the gradual recovery of PC spending as the impact of tablets faded.”

She further commented, “In terms of the major structural shift of the PC market, the U.S. market is ahead of other regions. The installed base of PCs started declining in 2013, while the worldwide installed base still grew. The U.S. PC market has been highly saturated with devices: 99 percent of households own at least one or more desktops or laptops, and more than half of them own both. While tablet penetration is expected to reach 50 percent in 2014, some consumer spending could return to PCs.”

Continue to Part 3

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