Apple #3 Computer Company in US with 8.5% Market Share

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Apple Inc. has moved up in the world, or at least the U.S., taking over the #3 spot during the second quarter in computer sales with 8.5% market share, the highest market share the Mac platform has held since Bill Clinton was in office. Appleis computer growth was 38.1% year-over-year, enough to edge past 4th place vendor, Acer, which holds 8.1% market share, as reported by research firm Gartner Research.

Overall, the U.S. market grew 4.2%, well below Appleis 38.1% growth. U.S. leader Dell saw a growth of 11.9% for 31.9% market share, and #2 vendor HP saw its sales grow by 5.6% for 25.3% market share. According to Gartneris estimates, which it specified as being preliminary estimates, Apple shipped some 1.379 million units to the U.S. market.

Gartner said that the home and education markets continue to be Appleis stronghold. The company also noted that the average selling price (ASP) declined across the entire home market, likely due to the credit crunch and other economic factors that have hit the U.S. economy.

"Home mobile PCs continue to have momentum in the U.S. market. However, ASP declines were greater here than in other segments. The retail space was a harsh pricing environment during the quarter," Gartner said in a statement.

The firm also noted that sales of "mini-notebooks" -- for instance Appleis MacBook Air or Lenovois X300 -- represented less than 3% of the market.

"This platform is still emerging and did not significantly contribute to overall shipment growth," Gartner said.

In the worldwide market, Apple is still not listed in the top 5. Toshiba is currently listed as the #5 worldwide computer maker with sales of 3.157 million computers for 4.4% market share.

Apple has not yet released its own number for the June quarter, but in the year ago quarter, the company sold a total of 1.764 million Macs. If Apple were to see its total sales increase by the same 38% that Gartner reports for the U.S. market, Apple could report somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.43 million Macs, still well below Toshibais sales.

Apple will be making its June quarter announcements on Monday, July 21.

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