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Apple desktops overtake Dell on shoppers' holiday wish lists

It appears Dell has lost its multiyear edge on Apple as US consumers' most-desired desktop computer brand. Apple also beats out Roku for streaming media devices and Samsung for smartphones.

Apple's iMac all-in-one desktop. CBS Interactive

Apple has long been the most-desired brand for tablets, smartphones, MP3 players, and streaming media devices on US shoppers' holiday lists. And, for the first time, the company also got ranked as the top brand for desktops this year, according to data from market researcher Parks Associates.

"Apple topped the list of intended brands for desktop purchases for the first time this year," John Barrett, Parks Associates director of consumer analytics, said in a statement Wednesday. "In 2011 and 2012, Dell was the top desktop brand, but Apple has displaced it, making Apple now the most popular brand across even more key CE categories."

Steadily moving up the list for desktop brands, Apple was in third place in 2011. In 2012, it displaced Hewlett-Packard for second place; and now, it has conquered Dell for first place. Parks Associates got its data for this year's most-desired brands from a national survey of 2,500 households in this year's fourth quarter.

For streaming media devices, Apple TV has held the top spot for the last three years. But, Parks Associates noted that while most shoppers say they want an Apple TV, many end up buying a Roku box instead. Last year, 34 percent of shoppers aged 18 to 34 said they planned to buy an Apple TV, and 15 percent said they planned to buy a Roku. In a later survey of actual purchases, Parks Associates found 24 percent bought an Apple TV and 29 percent bought a Roku.

It's possible the same could happen with desktop computers -- people say they want Apple, but end up buying Dell.

"Being the 'preferred' brand is certainly an advantage, but consumers can still change their minds," Barrett said.

Other brands that topped shoppers' most-desired list were Sony's PlayStation 4 for gaming consoles, Amazon's Kindle for e-readers, and Samsung for flat-panel TVs.

Parks Associates