Research group NPD showed this week results of their Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report estimating that the notebook PC market grew 27.7% year to year, for a total of 78.8 million units shipped during 2006.

Acer and HP continued to gain market share, and were the two big winners according to the report. Apple who has received some press on gaining market share based on iPod momentum, and successful launch of Intel-based models, did not show as healthy numbers as expected. Neither did Dell, although it retained the top spot in U.S. sales.

In Q4'06, on the strength of unit shipments that surged more than 29% Q/Q, HP once again took the top spot in the notebook PC market with shipments of just under 4.7 million units to capture 20% share of the notebook PC market. The quarter was less kind to Dell, which trailed HP, but perhaps more importantly lost share as unit shipments fell slightly from Q3'06 to Q4'06, despite a notebook PC market that grew more than 14.4% Q/Q.
According to the report, Sony was another winner for the period, easily surpassing the average Q/Q growth rate for the notebook PC market.