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Apple led sales of electronics in 2011

By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times –

LOS ANGELES — Apple products accounted for 19 percent of all U.S. spending on consumer electronics during the holiday shopping season last year, helping the technology giant maintain its title as the country’s top-selling electronics brand for 2011, according to a new study.

Apple also was the third-largest U.S. electronics retailer in 2011 based on total revenue, research firm NPD Group said. The No. 1 retailer was Walmart, followed by Best Buy. Staples and Amazon tied for fourth place to round out the top five, a repeat of 2010, NPD said.

“Nearly 60 percent of all sales in 2011 were driven by the top five categories: PCs, TVs, tablets/e-readers, mobile phones and video game hardware,” NPD said.

PCs, including notebooks and desktops, accounted for nearly one-fifth of electronics sales, even though purchases in the category slumped 3 percent last year to $28 billion compared with 2010. Sales of tablets and e-readers, meanwhile, nearly doubled to $15 billion.

Apple was the only major electronics brand to have its sales rise last year, posting a 36 percent increase over 2010, NPD said. Overall U.S. spending on consumer electronics fell 0.5 percent in 2011 to $144 billion.

The second-best-selling brand in NPD’s study in 2011 was Hewlett-Packard, which experienced a 3% percent decline in U.S. electronics sales last year. It was followed by Samsung (sales down 6 percent), Sony (down 21 percent) and Dell (down 17 percent).

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