Apple number three in U.S. computer sales

All the lugubrious prognosticators' contending that Apple's iPad success would cannibalise its laptop sales have again been proved mistaken by the latest quarterly PC market share surveys by research firms IDC and Gartner Group.

According to IDC, Apple has slipped past Acer to become the third-placed PC vendor in the U.S. domestic market behind HP and Dell, with a 10.6 percent share as opposed to Acer's 10.3 percent. Gartner still has Apple ranked fourth by a whisker behind Acer, with 10.5 per cent and 10.4 per cent shares respectively. Heady stuff for veteran Macheads who recall Apple's "beleaguered" years in the late '90s and early '00 when it languished quarter upon quarter with a two to three percent share of the pie.

However, the even bigger news is Apple's computer market growth-rate which IDC pegs at a whopping 24.1 per cent year-over-year, far exceeding the industry average of 3.8 per cent and more than doubling second-fastest-growing Toshiba's 11.6 per cent increase, and Acer
actually slipping marginally into negative growth territory with a 0.1 percent decline.

Gartner Group attributes Apple's amazing performance with increased prominence in consumer consciousness and more shopper traffic associated with the iPad's spectacular sales performance (the iPad is not included in the PC sales metrics).

The story outside the U.S. is considerably less intoxicating for Mac fans, with Apple still failing to crack the top six in global PC sales, still lumped into the "Others" category.

However, back in May, the French Apple news site Le "Macbidouille" cited an AT Internet published European website audit indicating that Apple had a 6.8 per cent market share with 50 per cent growth year-over-year, which, if accurate, is certainly not shabby.

Factor in the iPad's stellar market performance, and we can only conclude that Apple is on a rip-roaring roll with consumers, and that the Mac is still a force to be reckoned with and cash cow for Apple.

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