Worldwide PC sales decline to continue (expect the Mac to be the exception)

Worldwide personal computer shipments are expected to fall -10.0% in the fourth quarter of 2015, pulling year-over-year growth for all of 2015 down to -10.3%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Expect the Mac to buck the trend, as usual.

Short-term headwinds like the strong dollar, depressed commodity prices, and existing inventory have also lowered the outlook for early 2016, although shipments are still expected to stabilize by the end of 2016 and grow slightly toward the end of the forecast as commercial replacements rise, according to IDC. However, Mac sales have trended in the opposite direction, gaining global market share for 34 out of the last 35 quarters.

In an October note to clients KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that 5.4-5.6 million Macs will ship fiscal quarter one of 2016, a three-month period ending Dec. 31. Amid lackluster sales for PCs, Mac sales will continue to be better than those of competitors, he adds.

Apple saw its worldwide Mac sales rise 1.5 percent over the third quarter of 2015, while U.S. shipments jumped 7.3 percent, according to Gartner Inc. That's the highest ever market share Apple has ever achieved in United States' PC market, beating the previous record of 13.4 percent.

The research group says Apple now has 7.6 of the global PC market — up from 6.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014. The news is even better in the U.S. Gartner says Apple's market share here grew 7.3 percent year-over-year and now stands at 14.8 percent.