The PC market grew 19% in the fourth quarter of 2010 after a surge in tablet sales, an acceleration of corporate PC upgrades and increased demand for servers and storage, according to research.
The latest Canalys report says PC shipments rose to 106 million units in 2010 from 89 million units in 2009.
Daryl Chiam, senior analyst at Canalys, said Apple increased its market share by 241% from 2009, climbing to third position worldwide as tablet devices became an integral new product category in the PC industry.
"Each new product category typically causes a significant shift in market shares," said Chiam.
"Apple is benefiting from iPads, just as Acer, Samsung and Asus previously did with netbooks. The PC industry has always evolved this way, starting when Toshiba and Compaq rode high on the original notebook wave," he said.
Chiam said HP, Dell and Lenovo benefitted from a surge in corporate refresh programmes in 2010, driven by enterprise acceptance of Microsoft's Windows7 operating system.
HP maintained top position with 18% market share. Acer was in second place with 13% market share, followed by Apple with 11%, Dell 11% and Lenovo 9% - up 22% from 2009.
"Recessionary budgets are over for most companies, and IT expenditure is again being used as a catalyst for growth," said Canalys analyst Tim Coulling.