Apple’s $46.33 billion dollar holiday quarter and the 73+ million shipped Macs and iOS devices are clear standouts in the newest NPD research note exposing Apple as the only brand to have grown sales in the all-important holiday quarter. The same cannot be said for rivals Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Sony, and Dell, which all experienced missteps in holiday-quarter gadget sales. Five consumer electronics categories (PCs, TVs, tablets/e-readers, mobile phones and video game hardware) drove nearly 60 percent of all sales in 2011. Apple’s share of total revenue across these five important categories rose 36 percent year-over-year, according to NPD.

As a result, Macs, iPhones, iPods, iPads, Apple TVs and the company’s other consumer electronics gear accounted for 19 percent of all sales dollars. That is almost twice as much as No. 2 Hewlett-Packard. HP’s, Samsung’s, Sony’s and Dell’s sales dipped 3 percent, 6 percent, 21 percent, and 17 percent, respectively. Apple Retail was No. 3 in terms of revenue, right after No. 1 Best Buy and second-ranked Walmart. Staples and Amazon tied for fourth place to round out the top five—a repeat of 2010.

By the way, did you notice which two consumer electronics categories lack a dedicated Apple offering?

As portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets, increasingly become Jack-of-all-trades, consumers are less incentivized to pick niche gadgets. This results in an 8 percent sales decline outside of the top five categories, NPD said. The research firm pegged the total market for consumer electronics in the holiday quarter at nearly $144 billion, which is a 0.5 percent year-over-year decline. Notebook and desktop PCs accounted for almost 20 percent of all sales, and tablets/e-readers have more than doubled their share of consumer electronics dollars from 5.1-percent in 2010 to 10.7-percent last year.

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