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Apple has become the fourth largest PC vendor in Australia, according to analyst firm Gartner.

The Mac maker has long been a top five PC vendor in the US, but in Australia it has been only able to crack number four spot during the fourth quarter of 2011, beating Chinese PC maker Lenovo by 78,000 units.

Apple shipped 178,892 Macs to Australia in the quarter, Gartner says. This includes desktop and laptop models but not iPads.

H-P’s enterprise market helped maintain its lead, with the company shipping 292,150 units to Australia, while Acer shipped 238,942 and Dell 216,290.

Gartner said Apple’s 32 percent quarterly growth was impressive when compared to H-P’s six percent decline. Acer, meanwhile grew at 15.5 percent and Dell at 10.5 percent.

 “H-P down, Apple up – it’s the same situation worldwide,” said Gartner PC market analyst Eileen He.

“Apple’s shipments soared after it refreshed its MacBook Air product line in 2010. Its brand reputation wins loyalty from young people, business users and tech savvies. Apple also invests heavily in advertising in most markets, especially for its MacBook Air.”

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