Market research firm iSuppli has just released data that points to a pretty major coup for portable computing. The firm is now reporting that laptop sales in Q3 2008 rose an astonishing 40 percent year-to-year, to 38.6 million units. Desktop sales on the other hand, fell to 38.5 million according to the firm’s numbers – a 1.3 percent drop off from Q3 2007. Analysts had predicted for quite some time that the changeover would take place in 2011 but it makes plenty of sense that 2008 was the year. Netbooks continue to have a huge impact on the consumer market, essentially offering users a notebook PC for the price of a desktop PC. As far as the enterprise market is concerned, notebook sales continue to grow because, well, businesses never want their employees to stop working. In terms of the split, HP is still leading the pack with 18.8 percent of the notebook market, followed by Dell (13.9 percent) and Acer (12.2 percent). Lenovo and Toshiba close out the top five with 7.5 and 4.6 percent respectively. Interestingly, Apple lost some of its notebook market share according to iSuppli’s data, slipping to 3.2 percent. iSuppli’s Peter Lin is quoted as saying, “When its competitors grow faster, it will lose market share. So I think the main reason [for the lost ground] is Apple has not provided a netbook yet.” While Apple’s refreshed MacBook line will have undoubtedly helped the company regain ground in Q4 2008, it looks like Cupertino might want to take another look at netbooks if it wants to become a major player in the laptop game.