Apple Is Growing Faster Than You

Fresh data out of market research firm Gartner this week confirms what you already know: Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) keeps gobbling up market share in the PC industry.

Remember when Apple was a niche player for rich kids, graphic designers, and musicians? The company's thin slice of the computing market was hovering around 3% a few years ago. It's closing in on the double digits today.

U.S. PC Vendor Shipments

Q3 Units



Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  )

5.1 million



Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  )

4.5 million




1.6 million




1.5 million




1.0 million




3.6 million



 Source: Gartner.

Not impressed? Apple moved nearly 30% more units this past quarter than it did a year earlier, and you're just shrugging your shoulders with a Sarah Silverman "whatever" smirk? Is it the 9.5% slice? Did you think it would be more, given all of the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads you've been consuming? Well, consider that Gartner's preliminary data is expressed in terms of units. Since Apple machines are typically pricier, those premiums mean that Apple has a bigger share of the market when it comes to outright revenue.

Oh, and this is a domestic figure that includes shipments to corporate offices, which usually operate in a Microsoft-flavored (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) world. For now.

The consumer market trends are even more Apple-riffic. During Tuesday's rollout of the new crop of MacBooks, Apple pointed out how retail market share is up to 17.6% in units and a whopping 31.3% in terms of revenue.

It shouldn't surprise you anymore when you see the huge Apple display at Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) . Heck, Best Buy is even selling iPhones these days. Fuddy-duddy office supply chains like Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS  ) and Office Depot (NYSE: ODP  ) are another story, but give it time.

The Apple revolution isn't supposed to take place overnight. Then again, going by Gartner's projection of a 29.4% year-over-year spurt for Mac shipments, mainstream acceptance is already here.

Some other cool reads for you:

Microsoft, Dell, and Best Buy are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Staples, Best Buy, and Apple are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz isn't very cool. He's lukewarm at best. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

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