Apple's Share of Computer Sales Surpasses 10% in U.S. [Updated]

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Apple's U.S. Market Share Trend: 1Q06-3Q10 (Gartner)

Research firm Gartner today issued a preliminary report detailing U.S. and worldwide PC shipments for the third quarter of 2010, showing sales growth of Apple's Mac product outpacing that of the industry as a whole and showing Apple surpassing 10% share of the market.

Apple had another strong quarter. Increasing traffic to Apple, associated with the iPad release (iPads are not included in Gartner's PC shipment statistics), as well as iMac and Mac Pro refreshes, contributed to the growth.

According to Gartner's report, Apple placed fourth among U.S. computer shipments with a 10.4% market share on unit growth of 13.7% over the year-ago quarter. The performance fell just short of Acer's third place showing at 10.5% and was up from the previous quarter's 9.8% and from 9.3% in the year-ago quarter.

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Gartner's Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q10 (Thousands of Units)

Overall, Gartner saw only a 2.2% gain in U.S. PC shipments over the year-ago quarter, citing weakness in consumer PC demand fostered in part by the iPad delaying planned PC purchases.

"Media tablet hype around devices such as the iPad has also affected consumer notebook growth by delaying some PC purchases, especially in the U.S. consumer market. Media tablets don't replace primary PCs, but they affect PC purchases in many ways," Ms. Kitagawa said. "At this stage, hype around media tablets has led consumers and the channels to take a 'wait and see' approach to buying a new device."

Despite Apple's strong performance in the U.S., the company was unable to break into the top five computer manufacturers on a worldwide basis, where Asus and Toshiba battled over the fourth and fifth spots at 5.4% and 5.3% shares respectively.

Update: IDC has also released its data for the third quarter, pegging Apple's U.S. sales at just under 2 million and ranking the company third with a 10.6% share, just ahead of Acer at 10.3%. IDC's numbers show Apple with 24.1% year-over-year growth, well ahead of the overall industry's 3.8% growth in the United States.

"Apple's influence on the PC market continues to grow, particularly in the U.S., as the company's iPad has had some negative impact on the mininotebook market. But, the halo effect of the device also helped propel Mac sales and moved the company into the number three position in the U.S. market," said Bob O'Donnell, IDC vice president for Clients and Displays.

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