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MacBook back on top at Amazon

In a sign that should bode well for Apple's (aapl) earnings in its third fiscal quarter -- which ended Saturday -- the MacBook has clawed its way back to the top of Amazon's (amzn) bestseller lists.

The Mac, which once led the pack in the online retailer's Computers & PC Hardware Bestsellers category despite its $1,000 to $2,000 sticker prices, had fallen behind the blistering sales pace set by netbooks like the Asus Eee and the Acer Aspire One, which sell in the $300 to $400 range.

By June 1, the bestselling Apple computer on the list -- a white plastic MacBook -- had been pushed down to the No. 14 position.

But netbooks have started to fall out favor recently -- as witnessed by reports of return rates as high as 30% and an NPD study that found that 60% of consumers who bought them didn't understand the difference between a netbook and a notebook.

Meanwhile, Apple announced on June 8 that it was refreshing its notebook line and lowering its prices. Result: its computers have become hot sellers on Amazon once again.

Apple's entry-level 13-inch unibody MacBook, renamed the MacBook Pro, has been one of Amazon's top 100 bestsellers for 20 days -- basically since the moment it went on sale. As of Monday morning, it was the site's No. 4 bestselling computer overall and No. 1 in the laptop category.

In fact, three of the top 10 and five of the top 20 bestselling laptops on Amazon are now MacBooks.

Apple is not the only beneficiary of what some see as growing consumer disillusion with netbooks. HP (hpq) Pavilions, Toshiba Satellites and Samsung Mini Notebooks are also selling briskly online.

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