iMac - 2013 - Storage - Hero

For the first time ever, Apple surpassed Dell as the most popular brand for desktop computers this year according to a new study from Parks Associates. The marketing research firm’s annual survey shows Cupertino’s growing dominance in the consumer electronics market, with the company also coming up first for most popular tablet brand and most popular streaming media device.

For the past two years, Dell held on as the most popular desktop PC brand, but in 2013 Apple finally pulled ahead with Dell coming in second followed by HP, Acer and ASUS. With PC sales falling as the tablet market continues to expand, it makes sense that fewer people are opting to buy Windows desktop computers, especially when Microsoft is marketing its own Surface tablets as a valid alternative. On the other hand, Apple makes a clear distinction between what its iOS and OS X devices can do, while marketing its iMac series as a luxury product.

When it comes to streaming set-top boxes, Apple TV also comes out on top followed by the Roku in second place, though that doesn’t necessarily translate to more sales.

“Being the ‘preferred’ brand is certainly an advantage, but consumers can still change their minds,” said Parks Associates director of Consumer Analytics John Barrett. ”Last year, among younger (18-34) shoppers for this device, 34% planned to buy an Apple, and 15% planned to buy a Roku. In a later survey of actual purchases, we found 24% bought an Apple TV and 29% bought a Roku player.”

Apple also continues to dominate in the tablet category, which is no surprise given the continued popularity of its iPad line. Surprisingly, Amazon’s Kindle Fire came in second in Parks Associates’ survey, followed by Samsung, Microsoft and Acer. Clearly shoppers are intrigued by Amazon’s line of low-cost devices, though whether that translates into actual sales is unclear.