In today’s day and age, when Apple is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is usually between iPod, iPhone and Steve Jobs. Despite this, Apple has now risen to the 6th largest PC manufacturer in the world, and 3rd largest in the United States, behind Dell and HP, according to Gartner’s latest report on the topic. In the United States, Apple recorded a staggering 38% growth between 2Q07 and 2Q08.

In late 2004, Gartner predicted that 30% of the top PC manufacturers will not survive. In other words, 3 of the top 10 will not survive by 2007-08. Back then, the top 10 was Dell, HP, IBM, Fujitsu, Fujitsu-Siemens, Toshiba, NEC, Apple, Lenovo and Gateway. That prediction was quite accurate. IBM sold their desktop and laptop division to Lenovo. NEC is struggling. So is Fujitsu-Siemens.

Apple may well be on their way to #2. But, to overtake Dell is a tall order. Apple has to do more – especially in the pricing department. Dell’s aggressive pricing is probably the largest contribution towards their #1 position. But, do they want to be that big? At present, it is cool to own an Apple computer. If it become ubiquitous, will it retain the coolness factor? Isn’t that what it’s all about?

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