Apple Mac sales are slowing down for the first time in two years

Apple’s Mac line of computers — which includes MacBook laptops and iMac desktops — just had its slowest sales quarter since the same period in 2013, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing the latest analyst estimates.

The overall PC market has been shrinking for some time, and that did not change in the third quarter, with worldwide shipments dipping 10.8% to 71 million units, says analyst firm IDC.

Apple continued its streak of consistently bucking that trend, with worldwide shipments down only 3.4% in Q3, shipping an estimated 5.3 million units compared to 5.5 million units a year ago, according to IDC.

(While research firm Gartner estimated that Apple’s PC shipment increased 1.5% year-on-year in the third quarter, the WSJ noted that that represents slowest growth rate since Q3 2013).

Even as Apple Mac shipments slowed, other PC manufacturers fared even worse, meaning that Apple’s overall marketshare in the third quarter went up to 7.6%, compared to the 6.9% share it commanded in the third quarter of 2014, said Gartner.

But it’s still Apple’s worst performance since Q3 2013, according to the Journal report.

After that stumble two years ago, Apple recovered its lost ground and perhaps it will do so again. But Apple must be acutely aware that it can’t outrun the fate of the PC market, which is expected to keep shrinking until at least 2017.

It’s very likely a big part of why it introduced the iPad Pro, a tablet that works like a laptop. Just like Microsoft and Google, Apple is attempting to stay ahead of the curve, as people turn to touchscreen devices and mobile for their computing needs.

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