For months we've witnessed Apple (NAS: AAPL) defy industry norms by growing even as the rest of the PC market fell. No longer. Depending on whose data you trust, the Mac maker saw U.S. sales fall between 6% and 7% year over year during the third quarter

Lenovo -- the Chinese computer maker that took over IBM's (NYS: IBM) PC business in 2005 -- was the lone grower, improving sales by at least 6% over last year's Q3.

Don't take that to mean Apple did poorly. Quite the contrary: The Mac maker added about a point of market share over the past year and now ranks as the third-largest PC supplier to the U.S. market, according to data compiled by researchers Gartner and IDC. Lenovo ranks fourth domestically, and is vying for the top spot worldwide.


Not surprisingly, Dell (NAS: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ) appear to have suffered the most from Apple and Lenovo's rise. What's interesting is that the situation may be even worse than the numbers suggest. Why? The iPad.

Think back to last month, and these comments from Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple's iPhone 5 launch event: "We sold more iPads [last quarter] than any PC manufacturer sold of their entire PC line."

We won't know Apple's fiscal Q4 iPad sales until the company reports earnings on Oct. 25. But what if comes close to the 17 million Cook bragged of selling during fiscal Q3? Have a look, first at the U.S. data:

Supplier

Gartner Est. Q3 2012 Shipments*

Gartner Est. Q3 2012 Growth (YOY)

IDC Est. Q3 2012 Shipments*

IDC Est. Q3 2012 Growth (YOY)

HP

4,142

(19.3%)

4,293

(18.8%)

Dell

3,271

(15.9%)

3,402

(16%)

Apple

2,079

(6.1%)

2,211

(7.0%)

Lenovo

1,358

6.1%

1,368

9.2%

Acer Group

990

(28.2%)

1,006

(19.6%)

All others

3,478

(10.3%)

4,300

(8.5%)

Sources: Gartner and IDC. *Units in thousands.

Now, here are the worldwide figures. As you can see, ASUS and Lenovo are accelerating in Asia in much the same way Apple had been here in the U.S.:

Supplier

Gartner Est. Q3 2012 Shipments*

Gartner Est. Q3 2012 Growth (YOY) 

IDC Est. Q3 2012 Shipments*

IDC Est. Q3 2012 Growth (YOY) 

Lenovo

13,768

9.8%

13,824

10.2%

HP

13,551

(16.4%)

13,946

(16.4%)

Dell

9,217

(13.7%)

9,499

(14%)

Acer Group

8,633

(10.2%)

8,414

(9.6%)

ASUS

6,381

11.8%

6,381

10.0%

All Others

35,955

(11.6%)

35,732

(12.2%)

Sources: Gartner and IDC. *Units in thousands.

As ripe a disruptive opportunity as the PC market appears to be right now -- both here and around the world -- it's the iPhone 5 that Apple investors care about most. Yet that may change soon. Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has ordered 10 million "mini" iPads in order to meet outsized demand. Could a move to introduce a lighter, smaller iPad help move consumers even further away from PCs and stop the stock's recent decline?

To answer this question, one of our own star analysts has published a premium report on whether now is the time to sell Apple, and why. Click here to get your copy instantly.

 

The article Meet the Company That's Outgrowing Apple originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple and IBM at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home, portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool owns shares of International Business Machines and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple and a synthetic long position in International Business Machines. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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