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Apple's share of the US retail computer business grew faster than the rest of the market last month to grab 13 per cent, market watcher NPD has revealed.

Between May 2006 and May 2007, notebook retail sales rose 40 per cent, NPD said, driven by a strong consumer shift to portable computers. Apple's share of the market hit 14.3 per cent in May, up from 12.5 per cent in April, pushed by a 65 per cent year-on-year increase in sales. Purchases of Windows-based laptops were up 37 per cent in the same period.

That increase pushed Apple's retail market share up from 11.6 per cent in April to 13 per cent in May. Desktop sales were up too - albeit by a very modest 0.2 per cent from 10.2 per cent. Still, any rise is good in a segment of the market that's stagnating, and Apple's desktop sales were higher than many Windows PC makers', NPD said.

The market watcher's numbers cover both online sales and purchases made through physical shops.

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