Apple is rapidly closing in on taking a top five spot in terms of global PC shipments, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli.

Though Lenovo grabbed the headlines for taking third spot in the worldwide PC shipments stakes, behind HP and Dell but ahead of Acer and Asus, Apple posted strong growth the second quarter of 2011, the company said.

Apple’s PC shipments in the second quarter of 2011 amounted to 3.8 million, up 13.6 percent from 3.3 million in Q2 2010, according to IHS iSuppli's figures.

Apple recorded the third highest year-over growth in desktop shipments among the Top 10 PC original equipment manufacturers, with only Lenovo and another Chinese company, Haier, experiencing larger expansions.

Apple also posted the third largest growth in notebook shipments, bested only by Lenovo and Samsung, IHS iSuppli said.

"Apple’s growth is attributable to its products being highly desirable and continuing to appeal to consumers, despite the weaker consumer demand environment. The company’s performance was so strong that Apple now is less than one percentage point away from having sufficient market share to enter the top five rankings," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms for IHS iSuppli.

Lenovo posted year-on-year growth figures of 20 percent, shipping 10.2 million PCs in Q2 2011, compared to 8.3 million in Q2 2010. Acer posted disastrous figures, with a slump from 11.1 million units in Q2 2010 to 8.8 million in Q2 2011.

HP remained on top of the rankings, shipping 15.3 million units in Q2 2011 compared to Dell's 11.1 million. iSuppli said that the future was looking positive for the PC market in general and these two brands in particular.

"After contracting on a sequential and annual basis during the first three months of the year, the global PC market returned to growth in the second quarter, with total shipments of 85.6 million units, up 3.7 percent from 82.6 million during 2010, and increasing 6 percent from 80.8 million in the first quarter of 2011.

"The PC industry at present is enjoying strong demand driven by efforts among information technology (IT) departments of corporate entities to refresh their hardware. The healthy corporate demand allowed the Top 2 PC vendors—Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc.—to maintain their leadership positions."