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Apple's Macintosh market share soars 16 percent

Buoyed by ever increasing shipments of Macintosh computers, Apple has quieted its Intel transition detractors by posting double-digit market share increases. Two market research firms have pegged Apple’s growth at over 15 percent with one giving them a 16 percent increase.

With Mac shipments rising from 655,000 to 760,000 year-over-year for the second quarter, Apple’s U.S. market jumped from 4.4 percent in 2005 to 4.8 percent in 2006 — a double-digital growth of 16 percent, according to market research firm IDC.

IDC credits increases in Apple’s retail sector of 50 percent, as well as growth of 60 percent in its portable market for the steep increases.

“The strong growth reflects a successful transition to Intel-based systems – a critical transition for the company that sets the stage for future growth,” said Richard Shim, senior analyst with IDC’s Personal Computing program.

While the news was good for Apple, HP and Gateway — all grew by double-digits — the news was a bit more grim for market leader Dell. While maintaining its lead, the company’s growth was significantly under that of the top performers, as the company posted a 6.4 percent increase.

“HP, Apple, and Gateway led the charge with double digit growth rates outpacing the industry average,” said Shim. “Dell slightly lagged the market while maintaining its leadership position by a wide margin.”

The news for Apple was just as good from market research form Gartner, as it clocked Apple at a 15.4 percent year-over-year increase for the second quarter. Gartner has Apple increasing sales from 663,000 to 766,000, moving its market share from 4.3 percent to 4.6 percent in the U.S.

Like IDC, Gartner has the top four players in the U.S. PC market as Dell (32 percent), HP (18.9 percent), Gateway (6.2 percent) and Apple (4.6 percent).

Apple beat analyst’s earnings consensus on Wednesday posting a profit of $472 million or $.54 on revenue of 4.37 billion for the company’s fiscal third-quarter. Mac shipments grew 12 percent year-over-year as Apple shipped over 1.3 million computers for the quarter.

Macworld and IDC are both owned by IDG.

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