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Premium-priced computer market dominated by Apple

Macs made up a whopping 91 percent of the $1,000 and up computer market in June, up significantly from early 2008 when Apple's premium market share was 66 percent, according to new data released this week.

As first reported at Betanews, the latest sales figures from NPD Market Research show Apple with the lion's share of premium computer sales, and the Mac maker's commanding share only continues to grow. In May, Mac sales made up 88 percent of computers priced four figures.

The average computer sells for $701, but separating Windows PCs from Macs shows a huge disparity. While the average Windows machine in June sold for $515, the average Apple machine came in at $1,400.

In this economy, it's clear that price matters — to an extent. This week, Apple reported a record third quarter, bolstered by new lower prices on its entire line of MacBooks. The company sold 2.6 million Macs during the quarter, ushering in its best-ever June quarter.

Apple sells only three products below $1,000: the 13-inch MacBook, and both versions of the Mac mini.

In June, Apple lowered the prices on its 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pros by $300. It also created the 13-inch MacBook Pro for $1,199 — a cost of $100 less than its non-Pro predecessor.

Even with its premium prices, Apple has managed to grow its market share of computers that cost $1,000 or more. This as Microsoft has taken aim at the company's prices, calling it the "Apple tax."

In terms of overall volume, Macs held an estimated 8.7 percent of the U.S. PC market through June. But according to research firm Gartner, Apple's share is growing, having grown 2.5 percent in the second quarter while the rest of the industry slid.