IDC: Apple's Mac shipments grew 39% in Sept. quarter

The competition, short of parts in the midst of the pandemic, had to eat Cupertino's dust.

From "Traditional PC Market Delivers Another Quarter of Double-Digit Growth in Q3 2020, According to IDC" posted Monday:

As the global pandemic rages on and many countries around the world enter the second wave of COVID-19 infections, continuity of business and online schooling remain at the forefront of every economy. This led to double-digit growth in the traditional PC market, comprised of desktops, notebooks, and workstations, as global shipments grew 14.6% year over year to 81.3 million units in the third quarter of 2020 (3Q20), according to preliminary results from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker.

"Consumer demand and institutional demand approached record levels in some cases," said Jitesh Ubrani research manager for IDC's Mobile Device Trackers. "Gaming, Chromebooks, and in some cases cellular-enabled notebooks were all bright spots during the quarter. Had the market not been hampered by component shortages, notebook shipments would have soared even higher during the third quarter as market appetite was yet unsatiated."

Unfortunately, shortages of multiple components, such as processors, panels, and other subcomponents, led to missed opportunity for many vendors. "The PC industry rode into the third quarter with a sizeable backlog of unfulfilled orders," said Linn Huang, research vice president, Devices and Displays at IDC. "And it appears the quarter will end under the same auspices. Given that the shortages have been due more to a shortfall of business planning than a technical glitch, we do not anticipate a sudden surge in capacity. Consequently, this backlog will likely carry into 2021."

Cue Patently Apple's version of the spreadsheet:

apple idc Q3 2020 roadrunner

My take: I'd love to see the revenue spreadsheet.


  1. Fred Stein said:
    The one who laughs last….

    Haha to all those shallow thinkers who dismissed Tim Cook as an operations ‘guy’. Haha to the cut-and-paste biz school scholars who predicted Apple’s death due to low Mac market share back in the pre-iPhone days.

    Tim is a visionary who executes. Listen and learn.

    October 13, 2020
  2. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    If Mac sales in the quarter were as strong as these numbers suggest, it’s a credit to Apple’s supply chain management. The numbers would also evidence the appeal of the Mac as a computing platform along with the strength of Apple’s entire eco-system comprised of hardware, software, content and services. For example, if I own an iPhone or an iPad, purchasing a Mac becomes a much more attractive option.

    The impact of the pandemic will be long-lasting for hundreds of millions of people and some enterprise adaptations for the COVID-19 health emergency will permanently change where and how millions of us perform our work. Freedom of choice may have provided a new source of growth for Apple in the September quarter and this may endure for years to come.

    October 13, 2020
    • David Emery said:
      What he said!

      Apple’s ability to deliver in 2020 is a testament to supply chain management.

      October 13, 2020
  3. Bart Yee said:
    Another solid piece of the puzzle falls into place for Apple’s Q4 and FY 2020 report. Mac sales revenue will take a nice double digit jump, adding more growth to Apple’s growing diversified revenue streams.

    Like others have said here recently, the pandemic has accelerated PC and tablet spending and because everyone is home, people get to personally choose their own platform to work from. Seems lots of folks like Apple.

    October 13, 2020

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