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Apple MacBook gains are others' losses

Steve Jobs' self-proclaimed "future of notebooks" has arrived, as Apple's newest MacBooks are striking a chord with consumers, according to market researcher ChangeWave.

If the new MacBooks are the "future of notebooks," as Apple CEO Steve Jobs proclaimed, that future is off to a good start. For Apple, that is.

New MacBook Air
New MacBook Air Apple

ChangeWave Research said this week that Apple is seeing a surge of interest in its MacBooks, driven by the two MacBook Air lines announced in October. A whopping 36 percent of buyers planning to buy laptops say they'll purchase a MacBook, a jump of 11 points since a previous survey a month ago, ChangeWave said.

"Simply put, it's the highest level of planned laptop buying ever for Apple in a ChangeWave survey," the market researcher said.

The plus for Apple is a minus for others. The percentage of consumers who say they'll purchase a Dell laptop has dropped 4 points to 19 percent, since last month, while Hewlett-Packard is also down 4 points to 22 percent, according to ChangeWave.

Apple's new ultralight MacBook Air models are in demand.
Apple's new ultralight MacBook Air models are in demand. ChangeWave Research

Netbooks are also suffering. Those tiny 10-inch laptops plummeted 10 points in the last 18 months to 14 percent of those planning to buy a laptop, said ChangeWave.

And Apple seems to be benefiting across the board, extending the brand's appeal to personal gadgets and home entertainment. "In terms of individual electronics items, the Apple iPad Tablet is the clear monster hit this holiday season, with 9 percent saying they'll buy one in the next 90 days," according to ChangeWave. The only category topping the iPad is digital cameras, at 12 percent.

In related news, Apple's worldwide shipments of MacBooks in the fourth quarter are expected to reach a monthly average of 1 million units, with MacBook Air models accounting for 20 percent to 25 percent of the volume, according to Digitimes, citing sources at laptop component suppliers.