New information out of IDC research suggests that the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) Mac accounted for 6.3% of all PC sales in Q3, up from 5.7% in the same quarter a year ago. This would move the company into third place in the U.S. market.
Steve Jobs intends to do what he can to keep Mac sales growing faster than the PC industry as a whole. According to The New York Times, "on Friday, Apple will start selling the new Leopard version of its OS X operating system, which has a range of features that in some cases match those in Windows Vista and in others surpass them." To keep adding features to the OS, Apple plans to upgrade it every eighteen months or so for several years.
But, upgrades will not be enough to continue to push for more market share. Apple is getting some Mac sales because of the public's purchasing of iPods and iPhone. Still, it is difficult to see business and enterprise customers supporting a new OS along with Windows which not only dominates the PC market but rules the server market as well.
Among consumers, the share battle may get more hard-fought. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) and other big PC companies are going to need to defend their sales with better product and aggressive pricing. Apple has to face new competition in the U.S. markets from Asia operation Lenovo and Acer.
Apple is about to find that getting more share is tough against entrenched competition.