Apple is finally pushing toward double-digit market share with IDC reporting 9.4 percent share in the U.S. for the third quarter - an 11.8 percent jump from the same quarter a year ago - in its quarterly PC Tracker report.
The natural assumption, of course, is that Apple's gain has been the result of a PC market that has been in a lull as it awaits the release of Microsoft's Windows 7 later this month. But Loren Loverde of IDC tells CNET that Windows 7 isn't expected to be a big driver of fourth-quarter growth. Instead, Loverde noted that the growth has already been occurring - ahead of the Windows 7 release - and believes that people are buying systems and plan to upgrade. That may be good news for Windows 7 sales - but hardly a fourth-quarter boost that the PC industry needs.
During its earnings call yesterday, Intel also noted that notebooks seemed to be maintaining their momentum and weren't necessarily getting beaten by the smaller, less expensive but also less powerful netbooks. Intel execs also said they didn't expect the release of Windows 7 to have a big impact on the fourth quarter.
But for both Intel and PC makers, growth numbers are relative. Consider that fourth-quarter numbers last year - across many sectors - were in the dumps. Any positive growth this year looks great compared to last year.
IDC had Acer surpassing Dell for the No. 2 spot in U.S. PC shipments, both trailing No. 1 HP, which had 20.2 percent share. Apple was in fourth place with 9.4 percent and Toshiba was in fifth with 8.1 percent.
Gartner also reported PC market share numbers but those were different because Gartner includes x86 servers in its counts and also looks at revenue from vendors.