Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Where Would We Be Without Apple?

By Rick Munarriz – Updated Apr 6, 2017 at 5:31PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Computers are still a hard sell.

We're buying more boxes than we used to, but PC manufacturers aren't exactly dancing in the streets.

Gartner published its PC sales metrics for the third quarter last night. The industry tracker estimates that 91.8 million computers were shipped during the period, a 3.2% increase from the number of desktops and laptops during last year's third quarter. Gartner was originally targeting a 5.1% increase, but global weakness -- particularly in Western Europe -- sunk that early projection.

The silver lining here is that unit volume increased by 1.1% in the United States. PC sales had suffered year-over-year declines in each of this year's first two quarters.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) also padded its market share lead, growing its unit shipments by 5.1% to 16.2 million -- or 17.7% of all PCs shipped during the quarter. The news isn't so good for stateside rival Dell (NYSE: DELL), overtaken by Asian giant Lenovo for second place. Dell's unit shipments fell by 1.4% globally and a problematic 7.2% domestically.

The news is also good for Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL). The Mac daddy has seen its U.S. market share grow from 10.8% to 12.9% over the past year. It's important to remember that Gartner's quarterly missives are based on units and not dollar volume. Apple's share on actual sales should be even higher given its pricier systems.

Apple's success opens up a new way to spin the Gartner data. Take Apple out of equation and PC sales in this country would have fallen by 1.4% -- or the third straight period of year-over-year declines.

Am I the only one that finds that nugget more than a little alarming? It's hard to get too excited about accessory maker Logitech (Nasdaq: LOGI) or Windows dresser Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) if that trend continues.

If you want to see if the bulls or the bears have the last laugh, track the company by adding Apple to My Watchlist.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for HP. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Microsoft, and Logitech International. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Dell, Logitech International, Apple, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft, as well as a write covered call position in Logitech International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

HP Inc. Stock Quote
HP Inc.
$25.61 (2.52%) $0.63
Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$149.84 (-1.26%) $-1.92
Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
$241.07 (1.97%) $4.66
Logitech International SA Stock Quote
Logitech International SA
$47.42 (3.47%) $1.59

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 09/29/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.