The tables have turned on Apple . The company that was making computers and laptops practically obsolete with the introduction of the iPad three years ago is now the only major player not growing domestically. Apple's tablet may have sent the PC industry reeling, but now a dip in popularity of its own Macs finds Dell , Hewlett-Packard , and Lenovo having the last laugh.

Apple's tablet held PCs back in recent years, but now Apple's revolution is only holding itself back.

Industry tracker IDC is out with its latest quarterly update on PC shipments. It's an estimate -- only the PC makers themselves will make it official when they report in the coming weeks -- but IDC's typically close to the mark in its snapshots. 


Globally, PC shipments fell 7.6%, making this the sixth consecutive quarter in which PCs have posted year-over-year declines. Closer to home, the news was substantially better. IDC's research shows that stateside shipments only slipped 0.2% during the third calendar quarter.

Now let's pick on the Mac daddy.

 

Q3 2013

Share

Q3 2012

Share

Growth

Hewlett-Packard

4.439 million

27%

4.291 million

26.1%

3.5%

Dell

3.479 million

21.2%

3.402 million

20.7%

2.3%

Apple

1.906 million

11.6%

2.146 million

13%

(11.2%)

Lenovo

1.720 million

10.5%

1.368 million

8.3%

25.8%

Toshiba

1.123 million

6.8%

0.982 million

6%

14.4%

Others

3.760 million

22.9%

4.268 million

25.9%

(11.9%)

Total

16.426 million

100%

16.456 million

100%

(0.2%)

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, Oct. 9, 2013.

Of the five largest PC manufacturers, Apple was the only one going the wrong way. Let's go one step further. Let's back Macs and MacBooks out entirely. Take Apple out of the mix, and PC shipments in this country went from 14.31 million during last year's third quarter to 14.52 million this time around. Ex-Apple, PC shipments in this country climbed 1.5%.

That's great news for the PC industry, though seeing Lenovo and Toshiba as the biggest gainers suggest that a lot of the growth is coming from cheaper laptops. Hewlett-Packard and Dell have also had to play limbo with lower prices to woo casual PC users from going with a tablet and a Bluetooth keyboard. In other words, Apple may be losing market share in terms of shipments, but it should fare better in terms of revenue share.

The strong gains outside of Apple are still impressive. It validates Hewlett-Packard's pop on Wednesday, after CEO Meg Whitman offered a rosy view of her turnaround strategy for the PC giant. Dell shareholders may now feel as if they were robbed, getting cashed out just as the the outlook improves. However, let's see if this kind of uptick outside of Apple is sustainable or profitable.

There may be signs of life here, but let's wait for the pulse readings. 

Sometimes Apple's destruction is intentional
Apple has a history of cranking out revolutionary products... and then creatively destroying them with something better. Read about the future of Apple in the free report, "Apple Will Destroy Its Greatest Product." Can Apple really disrupt its own iPhones and iPads? Find out by clicking here.

The article Apple Holds PCs Back, Again originally appeared on Fool.com.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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