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Research company Gartner estimates that the Mac has an 8.5 percent piece of the U.S. computer market, and has passed Acer to become the third largest PC manufacturer in the country. We're number three!
Apple is still pretty far behind the two leaders, though; Dell enjoys a 31.9 percent slice of the pie, and HP's chowing down another 25.3 percent. Acer, in fourth place, slipped to an 8.1 percent market share. So Apple isn't in a position to pass HP anytime too soon. (Unless everyone reading this goes and buys 100 or so new Macs. Bookmark this page; we can wait.)
But the Cupertino company is also enjoying the largest growth in shipments—Apple moved nearly 1.4 million Macs in the second quarter of 2008, which is up 38.1 percent over the same quarter in 2007. Dell's growth in the same period was 11.9 percent, and HP's just 5.6 percent. (Poor Acer's shipments were down more than 20 percent -- AppleInsider has a handy chart.) Apple is outpacing the computer market as a whole, too, which saw a 4.2 percent boost over last year.
And not all research companies agree. IDC estimated that Apple and Acer would more or less tie for market share after the second quarter of 2008, with each company shipping around 1.3 million PCs for a 7.8 percent chunk of the market.
Outside the U.S., Apple's market share is also around 8.5 percent, but shipments were only up 3.2 percent last quarter, while the overall computer market grew 16 percent according to Gartner. That puts Apple in the No. 6 spot globally.