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Apple was 2011's top-selling electronics brand, NPD Group says

Apple products accounted for 19% of all U.S. spending on consumer electronics during the holiday shopping season last year, helping the technology giant be the country's top-selling electronics brand for all of 2011, according to a new study.

Apple also was the third-largest U.S. electronics retailer in 2011 based on total revenue, research firm NPD Groupsaid. The No. 1 retailer was Walmart, followed by Best Buy.

"Staples and Amazon tied for fourth place to round out the top five, a repeat of 2010," NPD said.

Overall U.S. spending on consumer electronics fell 0.5% in 2011 to $144 billion.

"Nearly 60% of all sales in 2011 were driven by the top five categories; PCs, TVs, tablets/e-readers, mobile phones, and video game hardware," NPD said.

PCs, including notebooks and desktops, accounted for nearly one-fifth of electronics sales, even though purchases in the category slumped 3% last year to $28 billion. Sales of tablets and e-readers, meanwhile, nearly doubled to $15 billion.

Apple was the only major electronics brand to have its sales rise last year, posting a 36% increase over 2010, NPD said.

The second-best-selling brand in NPD's study in 2011 was Hewlett-Packard, which experienced a 3% decline in U.S. electronics sales last year. It was followed by Samsung (sales down 6%), Sony (down 21%) and Dell (down 17%).  

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