Apple's PC Market Share Nears 10%

A company on the brink?  That's what Apple was before it made its dramatic comeback.  Now, in the latest Gartner report, on Q3 PC shipments (note, these are preliminary numbers), Apple's market share in the U.S. has grown to 9.5%, up from 7.7% last year, a growth of 29.4%.  Nearly double-digits.

IDC's numbers were similar to Garter's, pegging Apple's U.S. share at 9.1%, up from 7.3%, a growth of 32.0% year-over-year.

But (there's always a but), both Gartner and IDC noticed that a major part of the global overall upswing (15%) in PC sales was a burgeoning netbook component.  Gartner said:

"The mini-notebook segment experienced strong growth in the global PC, led by robust growth in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. In the North America market, the economic crunch created more interest in the sub $500 segment. Because the mini-notebook is still a new segment, it is too early to determine if the emerging segment created new market opportunities, or if it cannibalized lower priced systems."

Not bad, except as Gartner further noted, Apple doesn't play in that segment:

"Even though Apple lowered prices yesterday, it's still above other laptops in the U.S. Netbooks' prices are even lower, less than $500, and averaging $349-399. That's bringing down the average selling price. I don't know how Apple can play there."

However, Apple's always placed a premium price on its hardware, as noted in Microsoft's latest spin on an "Apple Tax."  So, in the long run, will this even be a big deal, and make a difference?  Or maybe our next Apple event will be a netbook intro.