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Apple pushes past Toshiba in US

But not on the world stage

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Apple grabbed 6.6 per cent of the US personal computer market during Q1 on the back of a leading year-on-year 32.5 per cent jump in unit shipments, research company Gartner said yesterday.

The move saw Apple push past Toshiba to become the quarter's fourth most successful computer maker in terms of units shipped.

Dell and HP remained in the number one and number two slots they held in Q1 2007, granting them US market shares of 31.4 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively. Dell's shipments were up 15.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter - HP's were down by 0.2 percentage points.

Third-placed Acer saw shipments drop 18.3 per cent between Q1 2007 and Q1 2008, resulting in its share of the US market falling from 11.5 per cent to 9.1 per cent. That's just 2.5 percentage points ahead of Apple, so the Mac maker could well regain the top-three positioning it held in the early and mid-1980s, albeit with a lower market share than it had back then.

Toshiba's shipments were up quarter on quarter, but only by 4.4 per cent - not enough to prevent its Q1 2008 unit shipments - 840,000 in the end - being exceeded by Apple's 1.01m machines. Toshiba's share of the market was 5.5 per cent.

American Apple fans may rejoice at Gartner's numbers, but their overseas compadres have less reason to be cheerful. Worldwide, Apple failed to make the top five. World+Dog favoured HP, which took 18.3 per cent of the global computer market in Q1. Dell's share was 14.9 per cent, followed by Acer (9.5 per cent), Lenovo (6.7 per cent) and Toshiba (4.3 per cent).

Internationally, all of the top-five players saw shipments rise quarter on quarter by between 17.5 per cent (Dell) and 25.2 per cent (Acer).

Worldwide, some 71.06m computers shipped in Q1, up 12.3 per cent on Q1 2007's 63.25m total. In the US, the Q1 2008 and Q1 2007 totals were, respectively, 15.22m and 14.78m - a growth rate of three per cent.

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