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The continued popularity of iPad broadband deals has helped to position Apple as the notebook and tablet PC market leader, it has been reported.

A DisplaySearch report published this week has revealed the US computing giant to have been the leading vendor of mobile PCs during the fourth quarter of 2010.

The firm pushed HP down into second place, with Acer, Dell, and Toshiba further behind in terms of sales between October and December.

Apple sold 10.2 million tablets and notebooks - claiming a 17.2 per cent share - as strong iPad sales over the Christmas period helped the manufacturer to outpace its rivals.

Richard Shim, Senior Analyst at DisplaySearch, commented: "Apple is currently benefiting from significant and comprehensive growth from both sectors of the mobile PC spectrum, notebooks and tablet PCs."

Reports suggest that the iPad 2 – Apple's second-generation tablet – has gone in to manufacturing and could be set for a March 2011 launch.

A number of UK internet service providers including 3 and Orange currently offer iPad mobile broadband deals.

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