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In total, the Cupertino-based company is said to have shipped over 1.01 million systems nationally, representing 32.5 percent growth and a 6.6 percent share of the US PC market, up from 762,000 systems and 5.2 percent share during the same three-month period last year.
In addition to its strong retail performance, there were indications that Apple showed decent growth in the professional market as well, Gartner said.
In total, US PC shipments reached 15.2 million units in the first quarter of 2008, just a 3 percent increase from the same period last year as consumers clamped down on spending over concerns of a recession and weakening global economy.
"Indications are that the market felt the squeeze in the second half of the quarter," said Mika Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartnerâs Client Computing Markets group. "The U.S. market is softening and this can potentially hasten downward price pressure and further intensify competition for the rest of 2008."
One bright spot was notebook systems, which drove the modest level of PC growth. âDespite declining consumer confidence, U.S. consumers did not put off mobile PC purchases as evidenced by solid mobile growth," Kitagawa said. "This growth was stimulated in part by aggressive price cuts.â
In terms of Apple's competitors, Dell extended its lead in the U.S. with its market share reaching 31.4 percent on sales of 4.77 million systems, up from 27.9 percent and 4.126 million systems during the first quarter of 2007.
Meanwhile, HP maintained its No. 2 spot but registered its lowest year-on-year growth (-0.2 percent) since the Compaq merger in 2003. Slightly ahead of Apple in the third place slot was Acer, which shipped 1.389 million systems for a 9.1 percent share of the market, representing an 18.3 percent decline from 2007.
Apple did not place within the top five PC makers worldwide, which means its share fell below the 4.3 percent registered by Toshiba.
In the No. 1 spot was Hewlett-Packard, which extended its lead during the first quarter as its worldwide share increased to 18.3 percent on 17.5 percent growth, up from a 17.5 percent share a year ago. At the same time, Dell registered its second consecutive quarter of double-digit growth (21.8 percent), garnering the company a 14.9 percent share. Acer and Toshiba followed with a 9.5 percent and 6.7 percent share, respectively.