Sure but it is only a question of time. Preliminary PC numbers in the U.S. showed Apple (AAPL) jumped from 7.4% of total shipments a year earlier to 9.7% in Q4, a 24% rise, the largest unit shipment increase of any vendor. HP lost 6%, Dell lost 6.1%, Acer lost 30% in the U.S. market, and Toshiba gained 14.4%. At 10.3%, Toshiba is just slightly ahead of Apple in fourth place. (Barron’s and Gartner). There’s a poll after the break:

It is the iPad who dunnit. “Overall, holiday PC sales were weak in many key regions due to the intensifying competition in consumer spending. Media tablets, such as the iPad, as well as other consumer electronic (CE) devices, such as game consoles, all competed against PCs,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

“The bright side of the PC market during the fourth quarter of 2010 was a steady growth in the professional market driven by replacement purchases. For all 2010, the results indicate the PC market recovered from the recession, as it returned to double-digit growth, compared to low single-digit growth in 2009. However, the PC market will face challenges going forward with more intensified competition among consumer spending.”

If Apple maintains its growth while the PC industry continues its slide, then will Apple beat HP? You could argue that adding iPad sales to PC sales means Apple is already ahead.

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