Apple claimed the two of the top three spots in computer sales in the retail space for October, according to research firm NPD Group. Apple's 21" iMac was the #1 computer in the retail space, while the company's 27" iMac claimed #3. Apple also claimed four of the top ten spots in notebook sales, starting with the #1 entry level $1,199 MacBook Pro.
The news was broken by CNet, and NPD has not released its final report for October - the firm declined to offer details on the other top sellers for the month.
Longtime Apple analyst and NPD VP Stephen Baker attributed some of the bump for Apple's retail sales to the fact that Apple refreshed the iMac line during October, and to the slowdown in PC sales as manufacturers and consumers on the Dark Side waited for the release of Windows 7.
In an interview with CNet, Mr. Baker also dismissed the so-called "iPod/iPhone Halo Effect" as being the number one factor in Apple's recent success with the Mac platform, saying, "Over past few years, Apple has continued to gain share in the market, and there are a lot of ways to explain that," Baker said. "It could be the stores, the computers themselves, the iPod, or iPhone. I think it's a combination of all those things."
Windows 7 was released October 22nd, which will make November a key month to watch for sales numbers. In addition, we should emphasize that the numbers being discussed from NPD's upcoming report are retail sales numbers, and don't include direct sales, online sales, and sales to IT and Enterprise markets. It's a measure of retail sales only, where Apple has a very strong presence in the form of its fleet of Apple Stores.