U.S. sales of Windows PCs grew 7 percent in November, but sales of Apple Inc.'s Mac computers were flat compared with the year-ago period, according to market researcher NPD Group.
Overall computer sales were up 6 percent last month, boosted by a nearly 17 percent jump in laptop sales. Desktop PC sales, meanwhile, declined 20 percent, signaling that Americans are migrating from desktop to portable computers, said NPD analyst Steven Baker.
The analyst said the numbers are a sign that Apple's iMac line needs to be refreshed. The company's desktop computers saw a 38 percent sales decline, compared with a 15 percent decline for Windows desktop PCs.
Apple's declining desktop sales could also be a sign that consumers are becoming more price conscious amid the deepening recession. Apple's computers are more expensive than their Windows counterparts.
"We are seeing a little bit of movement to lower-cost products," Baker said.
Nonetheless, Apple's laptop sales grew 22 percent compared with a 15 percent increase for Windows notebooks.
Shares of Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple added $1 to $95.75 in afternoon trading.
Baker called the health of the overall PC market "pretty good, comparatively speaking."
Shares of Hewlett-Packard Co., the world's No. 1 PC maker, rose $1.58, or 4.5 percent, to $36.40.
Shares of No. 2 Dell Inc. rose 72 cents, or 6.5 percent, to $11.85.
The broader market rallied after the Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate.