Apple got help from updates to its MacBookline to push its share to push its share of the laptop market up nearly two points in May, to 14.3 %.
"Whenever Apple gets a new product out, they get a nice bounce," said Stephen Baker, analyst with NPD Group.
The May boost put Apple's laptops in fourth place, behind Hewlett Packard, Toshiba, and Gateway, said Baker, and moved its combined laptop-desktop sales share from 11.6 % in April to 13 % last month. In retail-only, Apple showed a slightly smaller increase, from 9.6 % to 10.8 %.
"Everybody's notebook business grew last month, but Apple's grew a little faster than the market overall," Baker said, adding that the company's growth rate has been larger than the industry average for some time. Desktop sales, meanwhile, continued to stagnate, although there too, Apple has an advantage.
"Desktops sales are declining, but [Apple's] are declining a little less than others." Apple's desktop machines, the all-in-one iMac, Mac mini, and Mac Pro, accounted for 10.4 % of all desktop sales in May, a small increase from April's 10.2 %.
Laptop sales are hitting a couple of plateaus that even Apple won't escape, Baker argued. "ASPs [average sales prices] have flattened out, and are pretty stable now month to month. And at some point, you just can't keep growing [sales] by these numbers."
Baker also said he expects Apple will soon revamp its primary desktop line, the iMac, a move that Apple-centric bloggers predicted would happen at last week's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), but are now forecasting for end of July or early August. "I would suspect [an iMac refresh] would happen pretty soon. Both of the notebooks have been updated, so now it's time for Apple to look at that piece."