Apple has become better known for iPhones and iPads, but its Mac line of computers has broken into the top five spot for PC shipments for the first time. Apple shipped 4.9 million units in the third quarter, slightly edging out Asus and joining HP, Lenovo, Dell and Acer in the top five.

Apple's rise was attributed to price cuts on the Mac, back-to-school sales, and "improved demand in mature markets,” according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

Of the PC shipment regions tracked, the United States had one of the strongest showings with a growth of 4.3 percent to 17.3 million PCs shipped compared to the previous year. This was primarily due to portable computer sales such as laptops, the replacement of Windows XP machines and the ongoing decline in tablet sales.

“Solid back-to-school sales, a strong performance from key vendors, the continued acceptance of Chromebooks, some commercial uptick from Windows XP to Windows 7 migration and the slowdown in tablet sales are among the factors that helped the PC market to continue on its positive growth rate trajectory,” IDC Personal Computing senior research analyst Rajani Singh said.

Of the top vendors, Lenovo continued to hold the No. 1 spot with 15.7 million units and 20 percent PC market share. HP took second place with 14.7 million units and 18.8 percent market share, a growth of 5.1 percent compared to last year, followed by Dell, Acer Group and Apple.

Vendors in the “other” category continued to see a global decline of 17.9 percent to 26 million.

HP continued to maintain its lead in the United States, with 4.8 million PC shipments and 27.7 percent market share. But Apple climbed up to the No. 3 spot with 2.2 million shipments and 13 percent market share, which bumped Lenovo down to the No. 4 spot with its 1.8 million units and 10.7 percent U.S. market share.