Apple is now once again holding third place in the US PC market, sales figures from market watcher IDC have revealed. A return to form? Not quite, since its 5.6 per cent share is well below the double-digit share Apple commanded in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Apple was also tied for third place with Gateway, which likewise took 5.6 per cent of the US PC market in Q2. Below them came Toshiba with 5.3 per cent and Acer with 5.2 per cent. No guesses as to which companies outsold these four.
Yes, Dell and HP continue to dominate, each outselling the Apple, Gateway, Toshiba and Acer combined. Dell took the lead with a 28.4 per cent share, while HP's tally hit 23.6 per cent.
Like Formula One racing, the interesting battle in the US PC business is not for first or second place, but who'll get the remaining place on the podium and a share of the points. Here, Apple fans have plenty to shout about - for many, many years the Mac maker wouldn't warrant lifting outside the blanket 'Others' category, let alone get ahead of the likes of Acer and Toshiba.
And Apple's shipments were up 26.2 per cent year on year, compared to an industry average of 7.2 per cent. But let's not get cocky. Toshiba and Acer experienced shipment growth of 50 per cent and 163.8 per cent, respectively, though Gateway's shipments were down 7.1 per cent. And Gateway actually shipped more units than Apple, just not a sufficient number to gain a higher percentage share.
Worldwide, Apple didn't make the top five list with a share of less than the 3.8 per cent it would need for a joint fifth place with Toshiba.
Still, there's no doubt we are seeing a resurgence in Mac sales, particularly in the US. And if that means there's just a little bit of variety in an otherwise Windows world - Linux won't trouble the scorer much, not for new-bought systems, at least - that's no bad thing.