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Apple is back in the list of top five computer makers in the UK, at least as far as market watcher Gartner is concerned.

But while it may be some time since it was last there, the Mac maker isn't really in a position to confidently report its return to the big league.

Here, Q1 PC shipments hit 3.01m units, down 5.1 per cent on Q1 2008's 3.72m. Some 143,000 of the machines shipped were Macs, up from 135,000 in the year-ago quarter, up 6.6 per cent.

That growth took Apple's UK market share from 4.3 per cent in Q1 2008 to 4.8 per cent, a small increase to be sure, but sufficient to displace Fujitsu Siemens in the Gartner's chart.

Still, Apple's no reason to get cocky - it wasn't the only company that increased its shipments year on year, and not the best, either. Toshiba's shipments were up 7.7 per cent, from 254,000 to 273,000, Gartner said. Toshiba's market share rose from eight per cent to 9.1 per cent.

Acer was the real success story during the quarter. It's shipments shot up 40.6 per cent, from 306,000 units to 506,000, though that was still not enough to lift it above third place in the chart with a new share of 16.8 per cent, up from 11.4 per cent in the year-ago quarter.

Acer was market leader in France and Germany, by the way.

A big decline in shipments - 21.7 per cent - saw Dell yield market leadership to HP, itself down 6.8 per cent. Dell had 20.3 per cent of the UK market in Q1, down from 24.6 per cent in Q1 2008. HP's share fell from 22.6 per cent to 22.2 per cent. ®

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