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Apple snags 10 percent of U.S. retail notebook sales in March


Apple Inc.'s line of MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks combined for nearly 10 percent of all notebook sales at U.S.-based retail stores during the month of March, while sales of iMacs also helped the Mac maker rank amongst the top five desktop manufacturers for the first time this year, according to just-released data from NPD Group.

US retail notebook sales

For the month of March, Apple placed fourth on NPD's list of top selling retail notebook vendors with a 9.9 percent share, ahead of of Compaq's 8.5 percent share but behind Gateway's 13.0 percent share. Toshiba topped the list — which omits manufacturers like Dell who only sell direct. — by grabbing 26.2 percent of the market, followed by HP at 23.9 percent.

The 9.9 percent notebook share garnered by Apple is up from February, when it did not place in the top five, but down from January, when it registered a 10.1 percent share of U.S. retail notebook sales.

US retail desktop sales

Meanwhile, the Mac maker broke into NPD's list of top five U.S.-based retail desktop vendors for the first time this year, seizing a 7.7 percent unit share. The list, which does not include Dell, was topped by HP with an even 35 percent slice of the market. HP was followed by Compaq (16.7 percent), Gateway (16.6 percent), and Emachines (16.4 percent).

SanDisk chips away at iPod retail share

Over in the digital media player space, Apple in March saw continued erosion of its share of the retail segment at the hands of rival SanDisk. For the month, Apple held onto a 68.9 percent share, down from 72.3 percent in February and 72.7 percent in January. SanDisk appears to be the primary beneficiary of the iPod maker's lost share, with its slice of the retail media player market rising from 8.9 percent in January, to 9.7 percent in February, and 11.2 percent in March.

Rounding out the top five digital media player retail vendors for the month of March was Creative with a 3.6 percent share (up from 2.7 percent in February), Microsoft with a 2.5 percent share (no change), and Samsung with a 2.2 percent share (down from 2.5 percent in February).