Apple becomes third largest PC maker, sees profit surge

Apple has become the number three PC maker in the United States, analyst numbers quoted by eWeek suggest. The Gartner Research Group says the iPod maker now commands 8.1% of the U.S. PC market. That places Apple far behind both Dell, which holds 29.1% of the market, and HP, which owns 25.7% of the market, but ahead of Toshiba and Gateway. Another research firm, IDC, also places Apple in the number three spot behind Dell and HP, albeit with a smaller market share of 6.3%.

Word of Apple's strides in the PC market comes as the company unveils its third quarter financial results, which exceed Wall Street expectations. The Associated Press says Apple raked in revenue of $6.22 billion in the third quarter, up 28.5% from $4.84 billion in Q3 2006. Apple's profits jumped a staggering 67% from $542 million in Q3 2006 to $904 million in Q3 2007, as well. Those increases were driven largely by high sales of Macs and iPods—the AP says Apple sold 34% more Macs (2.16 million) and 17% more iPods (10.2 million) in Q3 2007 than in the same time period last year.

Despite some initial doubt from analysts over the iPhone's success, Apple's latest gadget appears to be selling quite well, too. The AP report says Apple counts 1.12 million iPhone sales for the quarter. That adds up to a total of 1.39 million iPhones sold from the device's debut on June 29 until the end of the third quarter. Apple COO Tim Cook comments that the company took two years to sell a comparable number of iPods, and he adds, "We're thrilled here."

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