If You Count Tablets, Then Apple Is the Leader in a Growing PC Market
Research houses typically consider PCs and tablets separate beasts when they compile their market share reports. But as the tablet increasingly begins to serve the same functions as the PC, some are merging the two in their quarterly estimates of the PC market, and the results are worth noting.
Common knowledge has it that PC shipments declined in the fourth quarter of 2012, undermined by a weak economy and an increase in tablet usage. But, if you include tablet shipments in this assessment, you get a drastically different result.
Research outfit Canalys did just that and found that worldwide PC shipments during the fourth quarter increased 12 percent year over year. And the PC market leader for that period? Apple. The company shipped 27.0 million PCs (23 million iPads and 4 million Macs), capturing more than 20 percent of the PC market. Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo claimed second and third place, with 15 million and 14.8 million PCs shipped, respectively. That’s about an 11 percent share.
Regardless of where you stand in the is-the-tablet-a-PC-or-isn’t-it argument, these are pretty interesting numbers. They speak to the shift we’re seeing in personal computing right now, and looking them over you can’t help but recall the “post-PC” credo with which Steve Jobs launched the iPad.
“A lot of folks in this tablet market are rushing in and they’re looking at this as the next PC. The hardware and the software are built by different companies. And they’re talking about speeds and feeds just like they did with PCs.
“But our experience and every bone in our body says that that’s not the right approach. That these are post-PC devices that need to be even easier to use than a PC. That need to be even more intuitive than a PC. And where the software and the hardware and the applications need to intertwine in an even more seamless way than they do on a PC.
“And we think we’re on the right track with this. We think we have the right architecture not just in silicon, but in the organization to build these kinds of products. And so I think we stand a pretty good chance of being pretty competitive in this market.”