Apple's share of the Australian personal computer market has jumped sharply in the last year, according to statistics released this week by Australia's two largest technology analyst firms.
In the three months making up the second quarter of 2008, Apple's share of the local PC market was 5.3 per cent, according to Gartner, compared to 3.8 per cent for the same period in 2007.
With the firm estimating that Australians bought 1.2 million desktops or laptops in the period, Apple's share would have been 64,830 units, or some 20,000 more than in the same period in 2007.
Year on year growth for the computer maker stood at 52 per cent, according to Gartner, dwarfing the overall PC industry's growth rate of 9 per cent.
Rival analyst firm, IDC, broadly confirmed the trend. However, IDC associate market analyst Felipe Rego said Apple's share had actually reached 6.2 per cent for the first quarter of 2008.
According to IDC, Apple shipments grew 41 per cent on the same period in the previous year, while non-Apple shipments grew at just 13 per cent.
The growth for Apple shipments has put it within reach of overtaking some of the less popular Windows PC makers, according to Gartner statistics.
Toshiba and Lenovo's shipments were only marginally greater than Apple's, with the second quarter of 2008 showing that Toshiba and Lenovo controlled just 8 per cent each of the 1.2 million PCs, representing roughly 80,000 computers each.
However, the leading computer maker in Australia remains Hewlett-Packard, controlling 21 per cent of the market, followed by Dell with 15 per cent and Acer with 13 per cent.
IDC analyst Rego said he expected IDC's figures for desktop and laptop shipments to show a significant increase in the second quarter of 2008 as "low cost" laptops such as the Asus Eee PC started to have an impact on local shipments.
Gartner claimed that 2008 would see almost five million of the low-cost laptops sold globally, predicted 50 million units to be shipped by 2012.