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Mac sales surge as PC sales drop 20% in UK, 12% in France

PC sales in Europe plummeted in the fourth quarter of 2011, but Apple bucked that trend over the holidays, particularly in France and the U.K., with continued strong growth.

According to the latest data released by Gartner on Tuesday, PC sales in the U.K. dropped 19.6 percent year over year in the fourth quarter of calendar 2011. It was a similar story in France, where PC sales were down 11.8 percent.

But in both countries, Apple saw double-digit gains, bucking the trends seen by the rest of the competition. Mac sales were up 17.2 percent in the U.K. alone, making Apple the only vendor among the top five that saw a year over year increase.

Dell was hardest hit in the U.K., down 32.2 percent year over year and finishing in second place. Top-ranked HP was also down a large 27 percent from 2010.

In third, Toshiba fell 5.4 percent, while fifth-place Acer saw the largest hit, plummeting 62.4 percent year over year.

Apple, meanwhile, took fourth place, growing its market share from 6.2 percent of the U.K. in 2010 to 9.1 percent in the holiday shopping season of 2011.

The results were slightly different in France, where Apple was joined by Asus in seeing positive growth for the quarter. In fact, the 17.4 percent increase for Asus bested Apple's 15.3 percent

Market leader HP fell 1.8 percent, but stayed ahead of second-place Asus with 25.2 percent. In third was Acer, which fell a dramatic 45.5 percent and took 14.4 percent of the market. Dell was in fourth, falling 13.2 percent and with an 11.4 percent share.

Apple finished in fifth place in France, securing 8.2 percent of the total market, up from 6.3 percent in 2010.

Gartner's data also included Western Europe, where PC sales fell 16 percent year over year, and Germany, where PC sales were down 8.2 percent. Apple did not crack the top five vendors in Germany or Western Europe.