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Apple Now Number #1 Music Retailer

Arstechnica reports on an internal email from Apple congratulating employees that Apple is now the #1 Music Retailer in the U.S., surpassing Wal-Mart for the first time.

The iTunes Store leads the pack with 19 percent, Wal-Mart (which includes the brick-and-mortar stores as well as its online properties) is second with 15 percent, and Best Buy is third with 13 percent. Amazon is a distant fourth at 6 percent, trailed by the likes of Borders, Circuit City, and Barnes & Noble. Rhapsody is in the tenth slot with 1 percent.

This comes quickly after a February announcement from Apple that they had surpassed Best Buy to become the #2 music retailer, also based on the NPD MusicWatch Survey.

While there's been some question about the discrepancy of the two data points, it seems possible that the February annoucement was based on December data (Christmas sales are specifically mentioned), while this new data is from January sales.