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One in five Chinese wants a Mac, Morgan Stanley says

According to new research from Morgan Stanley, a growing number of Chinese consumers can't wait to get their hands on a Mac.

Macs are catching on in China.
Macs are catching on in China. Apple

Apple's Mac sales have been growing considerably over the last several years, but in China, it appears they're ready to explode.

Morgan Stanley reported in a recent investor note, obtained by All Things Digital, that 21 percent of Chinese consumers are planning to buy a Mac when it's time to drop some cash on a new computer. Currently, just five percent of consumers in China own a Mac, the investment firm noted.

Apple's notebooks appear to be most desired, with 22 percent of future laptop buyers saying they will opt for the company's MacBooks. On the desktop side, 9 percent of consumers are planning to buy a Mac.

That said, it's important to note that despite what they say, the respondents' plans aren't set in stone. In fact, they might eventually opt for another computer brand, since, Morgan Stanley found, few consumers are willing to spend more than $600 on their next PC--a sum that is far below Apple's computer pricing.

But even with its premium prices, Apple has been able to attract Chinese customers over the last couple years. During his company's earnings call last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the iPhone maker generated $4.5 billion in revenue in China during its last-reported quarter ended September 24, attributing for 16 percent of all sales. In 2009, China's contribution to Apple revenue was just 2 percent.

Given that success, Apple has made the country one of its top priorities going forward.

"Certainly in my lifetime, I've never seen a country with as many people rising into the middle class that aspire to buy products that Apple makes," Cook said during the earnings call. "And so I think it's an area of enormous opportunity, and it has quickly become #2 on our list of top revenue countries very, very quickly and we're obviously placing additional investment."