According to a report by market research firm DisplaySearch, Apple's notebook market share fell seven per cent in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter, putting the company in ninth place overall among major competitors.

Hewlett-Packard took the top spot surging more than 29 per cent and capturing 20 per cent of the market. Dell remained in second place with 15 per cent market share, despite dropping two per cent quarter to quarter, while Acer gained 29 per cent to finish third with 13.3 per cent market share.

Rounding out the list are Toshiba (9.8 per cent share), Lenovo (8.4 per cent), Fujitsu-Siemens (5.3 per cent), Sony (5 per cent), Asus (4.4 per cent) and Apple (4.1 per cent).

DisplaySearch said the uptick for some of the companies could be seen in the ads around Black Friday and the lower pricing strategies for the notebooks ā€“ a strategy Apple typically stays away from.

"Brands that were hungry for market share were quick to drop the street price premium, even running 'free upgrade' promotions encouraging customers to make the transition," said John Jacobs, Director of Notebook PC Market Research. "Additionally, brands with a heavier reliance on the enterprise market faced the additional hurdle of convincing IT managers to embrace wide products and support additional configurations."

Looking a year ahead to the fourth quarter 2007, DisplaySearch expects the notebook PC market to continue to surge, growing to almost 97 million units.