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Demand for all-in-one PCs surges as Apple's iMac leads the way

"Surging demand" has led to increased component orders from manufacturers of all-in-one desktop PCs, a market where Apple's iMac is the top seller.

Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes reported Wednesday that demand for all-in-one PCs has been "surging" recently, a surprising change as they cost more than traditional desktop computers. But sales are said to have increased significantly during the holiday season.

Industry sources reportedly said that Apple is the leading seller of all-in-one PCs, with its iMac line allegedly accounting for about 40 percent of total sales in 2010.

Apple's desktop sales in the first half of 2010 relied largely on the redesigned iMac released in late 2009. That led to an immediate 74 percent increase in Apple's desktop sales.

iMac sales received another boost in mid 2010, when Apple outfitted the all-in-one desktop with faster RAM and more capable Core i3, i5 and i7 processors. That upgrade kept the same external design introduced in late 2009.

All-in-one PCs are expected to reach about 10 million sales in 2010, and further increase in 2011 to between 12 million and 14 million units. Sources indicated that all-in-one PCs see better demand from the enterprise, a market where Apple saw significant growth in 2010.

Looking to 2011, component suppliers indicated that the presence of touchscreens in all-in-one desktops is expected to grow as features improve and prices become more competitive.

However, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said when showing off the upcoming Mac OS X 10.7 Lion in October that he believes touchscreens don't work when placed in front of a user. Instead, he said Apple plans to implement multi-touch on Macs with existing products like its notebook trackpads, or the Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad for desktops.