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Apple's Mac sales in the holiday quarter solid, beats expanding overall PC market expansion

Apple's Mac shipments grew 7.3 percent year-on-year during the December quarter, pushing marketshare from 7.7 percent to 8.2 percent — outpacing the PC industry as a whole.

Growth in the overall PC market was just 0.7 percent, fueled mostly by businesses, research firm IDC said in a report published this week. The strongest regions moreover were Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, as the U.S. saw dips in both desktop and laptop computers.

IDC suggested that the U.S. was impacted by the "growing popularity of other mobile form factors," referring to smartphones and tablets. Phones like the iPhone X, 8 Plus, and Samsung's Galaxy Note8 are now big and powerful enough that they can handle many tasks that were previously limited to tablets and PCs.

Apple's iPad line has meanwhile become increasingly Mac-like, mainly due to mutiltasking improvements, processor upgrades, and bigger displays.

Most of the top PC makers are still well ahead of Apple, led by HP at 23.5 percent. Even third-place Dell maintained a significant advantage in the December quarter, claming 15.7 percent. ASUS and Acer tied for fifth place with 6.4 percent, each declining versus Q4 2016.

Across the whole of 2017 Apple saw its marketshare rise 5.9 percent from 7.1 to 7.6 percent. This pace was beaten only by HP, which jumped 8.2 percent from 20.9 to 22.7 percent.