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Survey: Apple, Dell compete for holiday shoppers

Of those in the U.S. looking to pick up a new laptop this holiday season, two-thirds say they want either a Mac or a Dell.

Apple's MacBook, shown on the left, and Dell's Studio 15, at right, are vying for consumer attention this holiday season.

Two-thirds of prospective PC buyers in the U.S. plan to buy either a MacBook or a Dell laptop this holiday season, according to a study released Monday by ChangeWave.

ChangeWave's survey of 3,699 consumers found that of those looking to buy a laptop over the next 90 days, 33 percent indicated a preference for the Mac, and another 33 percent said they would buy a Dell. The survey cited Apple's recent MacBook redesign and Dell's reputation for value as the driving forces behind those results, but notes that Dell's consumer business only accounts for about 20 percent of its overall sales. No one is having a good year selling PCs to businesses, according to ChangeWave.

And unfortunately for both companies, the number of consumers looking to buy a new computer is smaller than it has been during past years. Most years, the holiday season is easily the most active period of the year for Mac or PC shopping, but ChangeWave's research indicates that just 8 percent of respondents plan to buy a new laptop this time around, down from 11 percent last year.