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Apple claims 6 percent US marketshare for holiday 2007

While few companies have yet to produce their official shipment numbers, estimates generated by the two research firms have Apple shipping between 1.04 and 1.05 million Macs in the US for the last three months of the past year, resulting in a fourth-place spot for the computer maker and growth of anywhere between 28 percent (Gartner) and 30.9 percent (IDC) over the same period in 2006.

The results should net Apple anywhere between 5.7 and 6.1 percent of the market in the region depending on whether IDC or Gartner is used to collect the data. However, both companies are clear as to the gain: in each case, Apple's share of the PC business is believed to have snapped up a full percentage point more of the entire US market between the same periods in 2006 and 2007.

The other, Windows-based computer designers produced more modest results, according to the two studies. Both agree that Dell successfully turned around its results to grow by about 15 percent and maintain a small lead over HP. The now combined Acer and Gateway jointly occupied the third-place position with about 9 percent.

Gartner fourth quarter 2007 results (courtesy of Gartner).

IDC also took the extra step of tallying year-long results in its analysis and believes that Apple climbed higher still over the year. At third place, the Cupertino, California-based company will have shipped about 5.8 percent of the market's computers for 2007, or just short of 4.1 milliion Macs.

On a worldwide basis, Apple once again did not gain enough marketshare to register in the top five, which have Dell, HP, Acer, Lenovo, and Toshiba occupying the leading spots.

Neither Gartner nor IDC has commented on the Mac maker's performance, though their figures reveal a strong PC market overall in which Apple had "another good quarter," according to Gartner.