Report: Apple to Take Top Spot in Portable Computing Market Share


A new report suggests the iPad is behind Apple’s unprecedented growth in portable computers, defined as notebooks, netbooks, and tablets. Apple took third place in worldwide market share for the second quarter of 2010, and is on a trajectory to become number one as soon as the end of the year.

Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Apple 2.0 reports on the disruptive numbers from Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore. By adding the 2.47 million Mac portables and 3.27 million iPads sold last quarter, Whitmore found that “Apple leapt over Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba and Dell in terms of global unit share.” Moving from seventh to third place, that puts Apple behind only HP and netbook king Asus, but there is magical trouble for Asus and other netbook makers.

According to Whitmore, while every one of the top five computer manufacturers saw growth slow year over year, “Apple’s traditional MacBook business posted accelerated unit growth on a year-over-year basis in Q2 despite the launch of the iPad.” Mac portables saw 33 percent growth year-over-year, compared to an industry average of 24 percent as reported by IDC.

While Mac portables making big gains with the iPad might seem counter-intuitive, we’ve been here before. Like the iPod and the iPhone, the iPad requires a computer for synchronization, and if you like the iPad–and who doesn’t?–maybe you would like the Mac. This might also answer the question, “Why Do You Need a Computer to Use an iPad?” for Apple to make big coin.

Even better, Mac portables may finally be getting a foot in the door of business. According to Forrester Research, the iPhone, once disdained by IT departments as “unserious, insecure, trendy and suitable only for customers,” is now supported by “29% of North American and European enterprises.” That growing acceptance is expected to be extended to the iPad, though the “BlackBerry still rules the roost.” Maybe not for long.

According to web metrics firm Net Applications, “the iPhone posted its largest single-month usage gain ever in July,” going from 0.59 percent to 0.7 percent of overall OS market share. That is by far the single largest jump since the iPhone was introduced. So much for “Antennagate,” and at least for now the iPhone is growing faster than Android again, at twice the pace.

As for RIM and BlackBerry, the last available data is for June, and at .07 percent it was a tenth that of the iPhone, but that’s as measured by web browsing. It should be noted that the BlackBerry still outsells the iPhone, 11.2 million to 8.4 million for the most recent quarter. However, if one includes other iOS devices, the iPod touch and iPad, Apple sold somewhere around 15 million devices last quarter.

Either way, Apple appears set to takeover the mobile world, and I, for one, welcome our new iOSverlords.

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