Apple drops 5.7% to fourth place or rises 28% in Q4 U.S. PC shipments, depending who you ask

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IDC has announced preliminary PC shipment numbers for the fourth quarter of 2013, with Apple dropping from third to fourth place on the list. Apple shipped about 438,000 fewer machines than the same quarter in the previous year, allowing Lenovo to catch up and overtake them, despite Lenovo’s gain of only 163,000 shipped units.

HP, Dell, and Toshiba maintained the same positions as the previous year. While most companies lost a portion of their market share this year, Lenovo and Dell managed to claim most of the free space in the market. Overall the market saw a 1.6% drop over last year’s sales—about 285,000 shipments.

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Gartner, on the other hand, reports that Apple actually gained quite a bit of market share. How these two numbers are so far apart is a mystery, but it’s possible that IDC included Surface-style tablets in its numbers, potentially skewing the results in comparison to Gartner’s numbers. Read more

IDC: iPad drops below Android with 40% share of worldwide tablet market, Apple still top vendor

Research firm IDC is out today with preliminary data from its quarterly study tracking worldwide tablet market share putting Apple at 40% market share compared to Android’s 56.5% of the market in Q1 2013. In the year ago quarter, Apple held 58.1% of the market surpassing Android’s 39.4%. IDC says Android shipments were increased thanks to strong growth of Samsung’s smaller sized tablets, while ASUS moved into the number 3 spot with 350.0% year over year growth due to strong demand for the Nexus 7:

ASUS managed to move into the number 3 vendor spot as it continued to see decent tablet shipment demand from the highly marketed Nexus 7 device. But, with Google’s I/O conference right around the corner and expectations of an imminent device refresh, the company will need to find a way to sustain its momentum. Amazon fell to the number 4 position, once again the victim of a highly seasonal product cycle.

Despite Apple taking number two behind Android for tablet shipments by operating system, it remains the top vendor by OEM taking a 39.6% share of the market vs Samsung’s 17.9% and 5.5% for ASUS. IDC notes that Apple actually exceeded expectations for Q1, where it typically experiences a drop off in shipments, by selling 19.5 million units compared to a forecast of 18.7 million: Read more

Apple’s evolution leaves it between two camps for investors, explains low share price (AAPL)

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An insightful Reuters blog by financial journalist Felix Salmon suggests that Apple’s surprisingly low share price may be due to the evolving nature of the company leaving it between two sets of investors.

Conservative investors, who like slow-growing stocks with high dividends, are constitutionally uncomfortable with the volatility inherent in the tech world. And technology investors, who are happy taking that kind of risk, want to see substantial growth. Apple, notwithstanding the fact that it’s one of the most valuable companies in the world, is falling through the capital-markets cracks.

Apple always used to be the company which surprised and delighted investors and customers alike. Its guidance to investors was deliberately pessimistic, blowing through those figures when it reported actual revenue and earnings. It was notoriously secretive about new products, launching new ones in a playful manner with Steve Jobs’ famous ‘One more thing‘ moments… Read more

AAPL earnings preview: what the analysts expect

Update: AAPL blew away expectations.

At 4.30pm Eastern, Apple will report its Q2 results (and we’ll be covering it live). It’s the day when the last three months of analyst predictions and forecasts come home to roost.

Apple’s newly-realistic guidance revenue is $41b to $43b, with margins of 37.5 – 38.5 percent. These numbers would suggest earnings per share of just over $10 … Read more

comScore: Apple increases lead as top smartphone vendor in US, iOS steals market share from Android

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Research firm comScore is out with its usual monthly report that ranks the top smartphone OEMs and platforms for the three-month period ending in February. Apple continues to grow its lead this month as top OEM in the U.S., jumping 3.9-percent from November to 38.9-percent of the market and increasing its lead on the second biggest OEM by subscribers, Samsung:

Samsung ranked second with 21.3 percent market share (up 1 percentage point), followed by HTC with 9.3 percent share, Motorola with 8.4 percent and LG with 6.8 percent.

Feb-Comscore-Apple-PlatformsIt’s important to point out that the shipped vs. sold argument doesn’t apply to comScore’s results, as its data comes from surveys tracking smartphone subscribers and usage and not sales or units shipped. Google grabs the spot as top smartphone platform at the end of February, but Apple continues to close the gap capturing 38.9-percent of the market (up from 35 percent) compared to Google’s 51.7-percent (down from 53.7-percent): Read more