Apple Overtakes HP As World's Largest PC Vendor
January 31, 2012

Apple Overtakes HP As World’s Largest PC Vendor

Research firm Canalys said on Monday that Apple has taken over Hewlett-Packard (HP) as the world's largest vendor of personal computers.

The firm said that tablet demand in the fourth quarter helped drive the global PC market 16 percent higher than a year ago to 120 million computers.

Canalys said desktop, netbook, notebook and tablet sales grew 16 percent from a year ago.  However, if iPads are not included as PCs then the number dropped 0.4 percent.

Apple had a combined sales of 15.4 million iPads and 5.2 million Macs, accounting for 17 percent of the total 120 million PC shipments worldwide.

Tablets accounted for 22 percent of PC shipments during the fourth quarter of 2011, including Amazon's Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's Nook.

Apple was not the only computer-maker to gain some market share during the quarter.  Lenovo saw its shipments jump two percentage points during the fourth quarter of 2011.

Apple and Lenovo were the only vendors in the top-five that saw their sales increase during the quarter.

Hewlett-Packard placed second for sales, followed by Lenovo in third, Dell in fourth and Acer in fifth place.

Canalys is one of the first research firms to include tablet sales as part of the PC forecasts.

"We're going through the biggest shift the PC industry has seen in 20 years. It's very difficult to grow in the classic PC market when all of the growth is coming from iPads," Steve Brazier, CEO of Canalys, told CNET.

Last week, Apple reported a record breaking fourth quarter, including a 73 percent jump in revenue and selling more than double the amount of iPads and iPhones compared to the year prior.

The company said it sold 37.04 million iPhones during the quarter, which represents 128 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter.

"We're thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs," said Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, in a statement announcing the record numbers. "Apple's momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline."

Rumors claim Apple will be launching an iPad 3 in February, and some speculate it will coincide with co-founder Steve Job's birthday on February 24.  The iPad 2 was announced on March 2 and released on March 11.


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