Apple’s notebook sales have shot up 61 per cent since the first quarter of 2007, Display Search revealed last week. That compares to overall growth of the sector of just 35 per cent.

The monitoring firm claims Apple shipped over 1.4 million notebooks in the first quarter 2008, compared to near 900,000 the year before. While these sales leave Apple as seventh place notebook manufacturer according to Display Search figures, they do mean Apple and Asus are the biggest growing brands, with 61 and 67 per cent growth rates respectively – most other manufacturers experienced 20 – 40% growth.

"DisplaySearch analysis indicates that the increasing transition of consumers from desktop PCs to notebook PCs is having a direct impact on brands’ growth and market share. Brands with established enterprise and retail presences have had the most success in growing market share in the past several quarters," the analysts said.

Apple’s seventh place in overall notebook market share at 4.6 per cent, trailing behind leaders HP (20.8 per cent), Dell (15.1 per cent), and Acer (14.7 per cent) but still ahead of Asus (4.3 per cent) and Sony (4.2 per cent).

In the emerging and fast-growing Mini-Note PC market (the class of devices with displays from 4.5" to 10.2" like the Asus Eee PC, Acer Aspire One or HP 2133 Mini-Note), Y/Y growth was an astonishing 3,056 per cent and Q/Q growth was more than 70 per cent, the analysts said.

…while Asus’ success in this market is outstanding, rumours continue to bubble speculating Apple may introduce a competing sub-notebook product, straddling the space between iPhone and MacBook.

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