Apple is Now World's Largest PC Company (If Tablets Are PCs)

There is quite a bit of controversy whether that is an appropriate way to measure PC numbers, but for those who consider a tablet a PC, Apple is now the world's leading PC company, according to Canalys.

About 120 million "client" PCs (including tablets, desktops, netbooks, notebooks) were shipped in Q4, which represented 16 percent annual growth, according to the market research firm. Excluding tablets, to which Canalys refers to as "pads", the PC industry's shipments contracted by 0.4 percent.

Apple shipped about 15 million iPads in Q4 and about 5 millions Macs, which hands the company a 17 percent market share, Canalys said. Apple gained six market share points year-over-year, while Acer, Dell and HP lost market share.

Canalys predicts a difficult future especially for HP. “Currently, HP is pursuing a Windows strategy for its pad portfolio, producing enterprise-focused products, such as the recently launched Slate 2, until the launch of Windows 8,” said Canalys analyst Tim Coulling. “However, questions remain over Microsoft’s entry into the consumer pad space. While early demonstrations of the Window 8 operating system seem promising, Microsoft must focus its efforts on creating an intuitive user experience that is far less resource intensive.”

Lenovo was the only other large manufacturer to gain market share during the quarter (2 points) and is more likely to succeed in the tablet space, Canalys said: "The vendor’s decision to use Android for enterprise and consumer pads gives it a better opportunity than HP to continue gaining market share."

Canalys noted that "pads" accounted for 22 percent of the PC shipment volume in Q4 2011, driven primarily by Apple's iPad, the Amazon kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook. “The consumerization of IT continues to be a significant disruptive force in the PC industry, but many of the leading vendors have failed to capitalize on the trend to date,” said Coulling. “This year will be a pivotal year for those vendors that were slow to launch pads. It is not just the product that they need to get right, business models are equally important - driving revenues from content delivery can help vendors reach lower price points in a market that is incredibly price sensitive.”

  • supall
    I will be the first to say that the iPad should not be counted as a PC, simply because the OS it uses is the same as that of the iPhone and iPod. And if the iPad should be counted as a PC, then so does the iPhone/iPod since the only major difference between two is the size of the screen. And that's just ludicrous.
  • wizzlebippi
    Tablets are not PC's because they're gimped by restrictive software. Until that's fixed, they're never going to be more than glorified smart phones.
  • __-_-_-__
    apple is not a pc company. they produce nothing.
  • mrmaia
    IMO a tablet is more of a big phone and less of a computer.

    I'd like to see the results when tablets are NOT computed.
  • theconsolegamer
    Tablets and smartphone should be consider to be VRD "very restricted device"
  • amstech
    Apple are great computers for people who aren't good with computers.
    The world runs on Microsoft Servers and Framework, and always will.
  • davewolfgang
    Then include all the Android phones too, they can do a bunch more than the iPad can.
  • COLGeek
    Got to love all the hate. Like any poll/survey, the answer/outcome depends on the question being asked and how it is framed. Really nothing new or controversial here.
  • I could do more with an iPad than I could with my first Hewlett Packard in 1996. Is that old HP not a PC anymore?
  • Khimera2000
    That is dumb, it feels like this company is in real close with apple. Every where I read most people consider a tablet a Media Consumption Device, most consider it a supplemental to there PC at work or home. The only way you can consider something a PC, is when you can prop it on your desk and give your old one to your sister without worry of ever needing it again. Tablets don't do that.