Apple's iPad Tops Sales And Market Share
May 23, 2012

Apple’s iPad Tops Sales And Market Share

Michael Harper for

Even though they are currently engaged in several legal battles – most notably with Samsung – and tech blogs are obsessed with rumored details of their next phone, Apple is still in business, and business is good. After earning the title of “Most Valuable Brand” from Millward Brown yesterday, Apple follows up with another accolade: Best in Mobile and Tablet PCs.

Yesterday, research firm NPD DisplaySearch released the results of their latest survey on Mobile, Notebook and Tablet PCs, and Apple´s iPad performed very well in the numbers.

According to these results, Apple managed to ship 17.2 million Mobile PCs (or iPads) during the last quarter alone, earning them 22.5% market share. This growth, by the way, represents a 118% gain year-over-year.

Hewlett Packard (HP) and Acer fell in line behind Apple, shipping 8.9 and 6.9 million Mobile PCs respectively. Lenovo and Dell rounded out the list of the top 5 Mobile PC makers.

All told, NPD´s numbers show the mobile PC market has grown 30% since the same quarter last year.

Of course, these numbers so far represent all devices which NPD deems are “Mobile PCs,” which include mini-notebooks, notebooks and tablets.

When NPD narrowed their focus to just tablets, the numbers got all the more interesting.

Apple shipped 13.6 million iPads last quarter, a full 12 million more than their closest competitor, Samsung. As for the 7-inch tablet that had analysts and pundits worried that Apple would lose dominance -- NPD reports there were only 0.9 million Amazon Kindle Fire Tablets shipped last quarter. RIM and ASUS both shipped 0.5 million of their tablets.

Apple´s 13.6 million iPads shipped represent a whopping 62.8% of the tablet market share, followed by Samsung at 7.5%.

To be fair, the report also mentions the other manufacturers are finally gaining some ground of the tablet market, which Apple effectively recreated 2 years ago with their original iPad. In the all-encompassing Mobile PC market, Apple has lost nearly 4% since last quarter, Q4 2011. HP, on the other hand, gained market share, from 9.9% in Q4 2011 to 11.6% this previous quarter.

There has been a bit of an ongoing debate about whether or not tablet PCs, like the iPad, should be counted as PCs in surveys such as these.

As it stands, Apple's notebook competitors are losing ground to iPad as customers are now asking themselves “Why would I buy this instead of an iPad?”

According to HP´s CEO Meg Whitman, the iPad could overtake HP´s PC sales this year if research analysts begin combining the two devices into one “Mobile PC” classifier.

Not surprisingly, Tim Cook agrees, saying in this year´s Goldman Sachs keynote, “I love the Mac. The Mac is still growing, and I believe it can still grow. But I strongly believe that the tablet market can beat the unit sales numbers of PCs, and do it soon.”

If nothing else, yesterday´s NPD results prove Cook and Whitman right, and as a true and proper iPad competitor is yet to emerge to take down Apple´s tablets, it´s likely 2012 will be another banner year for Apple´s tablet in the “Mobile PC” market.