Mac sales are rising as PC market's decline continues

But smartphones are still king of portable computing

Since the dawn of the smartphone, home computing has been in the cross-hairs.

Now, new figures from Gartner have shown that for yet another quarter, the number of PCs sold around the world has dropped. However, Mac sales are seeing a slight resurgence.

During the first three months of 2017, it’s claimed that Apple shipped roughly 4.2 million Mac devices globally, a 4.5% increase in year-on-year numbers.

  • Windows 10 has made PCs quite good in recent years

Return of the Mac

This steady increase, which accounts for just 200,000 machines, has also seen the manufacturer’s share of the computer market jump from 6.3% last year to 6.8% now. This isn’t enough to see it climb the vendor rankings, however, holding firm in fifth position.

Up front, Lenovo remains the world’s biggest PC manufacturer with a 19.9% controlling stake in the market ahead of HP (19.5%) and Dell (15%).

Asus in fourth, however, is dropping back, falling perilously close to the advancing Apple with its year-on-year share of the market having slumped from 8.3% to just 7.3%.

According to analysts though, this could all soon be a moot point. With consumer interest waning, it’s been suggested that business users are the key to future PC success.

“While the consumer market will continue to shrink, maintaining a strong position in the business market will be critical to keep sustainable growth in the PC market. Winners in the business segment will ultimately be the survivors in this shrinking market,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

“Vendors who do not have a strong presence in the business market will encounter major problems, and they will be forced to exit the PC market in the next five years.”

He added: ”The top three vendors — Lenovo, HP and Dell — will battle for the large-enterprise segment. The market has extremely limited opportunities for vendors below the top three, with the exception of Apple, which has a solid customer base in specific verticals.”

It’s not just hardware manufactures that are suffering either.

Earlier this month, for the first time in more than two decades Microsoft saw its Windows platform overtaken as the most used operating system by those accessing the internet.

In its place, Android has taken top position, with the smartphone and tablet OS highlighting the shifting trends in personal computing.