Apple laptops were in among the top five biggest selling computer brands in the US this past January, new NPD research shows.

Apple is number five for its US laptop sales — a position unthinkable just a few years ago. The company took 10.1 per cent of the US laptop market.

Gateway took 12.7 per cent of the market to take fourth place, with Lenovo, Toshiba and HP in third, second and first place respectively, according to Bloomberg.

Apple's iPod also led the market, with a 72.7 per cent market share of MP3 players sold in the US — nearly nine times the unit share gained by number two vendor, Sandisk (8.9 per cent).

Microsoft managed to scrape a few sales with its Zune player in January, taking 3.2 per cent of the market to become the third biggest player in the space.

Creative Labs took 2.9 per cent and Samsung 2 per cent of the MP3 player market, the report explains.

In October last year Apple was named the fourth-biggest manufacturer in the US.