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iSuppli: Apple was only US PC maker to outgrow market in Q1 2010

The greatest growth in the PC industry in the first quarter of 2010 came from overseas computer manufacturers, with one exception in the U.S.: Apple.

Mac shipments increased 32.4 percent year-over-year in the first three months of 2010, hitting 2.8 million worldwide iSuppli said Friday. That was well beyond the industry-wide growth of 22.7 percent in the same time period — the largest year-over-year growth in a quarter ever tracked by iSuppli.

iSuppli's tracking measures lower than Apple's reported sales of 2.94 million Macs for the three-month period ending March 27.

"Apple’s Macintosh line is benefitting from the halo effect of the enormous popularity of its iPhones and iPads," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for computer platforms at iSuppli.

In comparison, the numbers show the largest U.S.-based PC makers couldn't keep pace with the rest of the industry in terms of growth. HP, still the top worldwide computer maker shipping 15.9 million units, saw 22.2 percent growth, while Dell, coming in at No. 3 globally with 10.6 million PC shipped, grew 21.8 percent.

Apple helped to skew the industry-wide totals higher along with a number of overseas manufacturers. Acer was the No. 2 overall PC maker, shipping 10.8 million units and riding 47.1 percent year-over-year growth. In fourth was Dell, increasing 58.5 percent, in fifth Toshiba with 31.2 percent, and in sixth Asus growing 136.2 percent.

Industry growth in the first quarter, iSuppli said, was lead by "surprisingly strong" notebook sales. The desktop shipments grew by a small 1 percent — the first time they saw year-over-year growth since the second quarter of 2008. iSuppli expects to see unit shipment growth of 17 percent in all of 2010.

"The first three months of 2010 delivered the highest quarterly PC shipment growth on a year-over-year basis since iSuppli began tracking the market in 2003," Wilkins said. "This record growth resulted from strong sales in the first quarter of 2010 combined with weak conditions during the first three months of 2009.

"Early 2009 represented one of the weakest periods in the history of the PC market, as consumer and corporate demand plunged due to the economic downturn. With economic conditions improving, PC sales rebounded in early 2010."