According to recently released estimates from the research firm IDC, PC estimates show an overall contraction of 4.5% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2012 with Apple following suit with a 0.2% negative growth rate. Apple shipped roughly 2.03 million Macs over the three-month period ending in December, just 3,000 units short of last year’s performance. Despite the negative growth in quarter four, Apple still managed to gain market share over other PC vendors like Toshiba, which took huge hits over the same period.

It is being speculated that rollout issues with the newly redesigned iMac are to blame for Apple’s negative slip. The all-in-ones still appear to be in short supply more than a month after being launched at the end of November. Overall, U.S. PC shipments fell to 17.75 million from 18.6 million a year ago, representing a negative growth rate of 4.5%.

Senior Research Analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, Jay Chou, said the following regarding the matter:

Although the third quarter was focused on the clearing of Windows 7 inventory, preliminary research indicates the clearance did not significantly boost the uptake of Windows 8 systems in Q4. Lost in the shuffle to promote a touch-centric PC, vendors have not forcefully stressed other features that promote a more secure, reliable and efficient user experience. As Windows 8 matures, and other corresponding variables such as Ultrabook pricing continue to drop, hopefully the PC market can see a reset in both messaging and demand in 2013.
HP held the top spot once again gaining 12.4% for the quarter on shipments nearing 4.8 million units. The company now accounts for 27% of the U.S. market. Dell followed behind, suffering a whopping 16.6% year-to-year loss with less than 3.5 million shipped units, dropping its share to 19.6%. Apple retained the third place ranking, far behind Dell with an 11.4% market share for the fourth quarter. The Cupertino California company continued to remain ahead of other top contenders such as Lenovo and Toshiba.

Source: IDC via AppleInsider