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Mac growth outpaces market for 19 straight quarters

If you've been following Apple's quarterly financial calls for the past several years, you know that many of the new products -- iPhone and iPad, specifically -- have been selling like the proverbial hotcakes. But you might be surprised to know that Apple's 27 year-old Macintosh personal computer line has seen a remarkable resurgence in sales.

John Paczowski at the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital looked at the skyrocketing sales of Macs in a post today. As he notes, Apple's first quarter 2011 results (ending December 31, 2010) marked the 19th consecutive quarter that Mac sales have outperformed the PC market. In the consumer market, the Mac posted growth in shipments of 17.1 percent over the previous year, while the rest of the market declined about .6 percent. But the surprising numbers are in the business market, where the Mac showed 65.4 percent growth year-over-year compared to 9.7 percent for the broader market. Things really get crazy in the government market segment, where sales of the Mac grew at an astounding 549.5 percent (of course, the government market only accounts for about one percent of all Mac sales).

Paczowski notes that Needham analyst Charlie Wolf credits the halo effect for the surge in sales. People who purchase and grow to love an iPod, iPhone or iPad are more likely to buy Macs. Since iPads are being tested or deployed in most of the Fortune 100 companies, IT departments are also beginning to look at the Mac in a new light.

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