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Mac sales estimates for Q4 are all over the map

Gregg Keizer | Jan. 13, 2014
Gartner says U.S. Mac shipments were up 29 percent; IDC counters, claims they fell 6 percent.

A month before, Apple had tweaked its iMacs by turning to Haswell quad-core processors.

The only really new design — the radically-changed Mac Pro that went from a bland tower to a sleek 10-in. cylinder — was launched very late in the fourth quarter, and sales were constrained by supply shortages.

IDC and Gartner also had different visions of the U.S. personal computer industry as a whole. IDC appraised shipments at 17.1 million, a small 1.6% decline compared to 2012, while Gartner said shipments reached 15.8 million, representing a substantial 7.5% contraction. The large gap between the two researchers was most evident in the "Other" category, where Gartner placed just 3.2 million machines compared to IDC's 4.5 million.

Apple will reveal fourth-quarter Mac sales at an earnings call scheduled to start at 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 27.


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