Apple Becomes Top Worldwide Mobile PC Maker Thanks to iPad


Thanks to the success of Apple’s iPad, the Mac-maker accounted for 17.2 percent of all mobile PC shipments worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2010, making it the overall segment leader. DipslaySearch reports Apple shipped over 10.2 million MacBooks and iPads combined during the period, giving it the edge over closest competitors HP by almost a million units.

DisplaySearch acknowledges that Apple enjoyed a healthy advantage since it was the first to make a serious play in the tablet market, and was largely unopposed by any serious competitors throughout 2010. At the same time, DisplaySearch Senior Analyst Richard Shim says that people should be wary of attributing Apple’s success exclusively to its first-mover status:

While we anticipate increased competition in the tablet PC market later this year with the introduction of Android Honeycomb-based tablets, Apple’s iPad business is complementing a notebook line whose shipments widely exceed the industry average growth rate. Apple is currently benefiting from significant and comprehensive growth from both sectors of the mobile PC spectrum, notebooks and tablet PCs. Cannibalization seems limited at this point.

Despite 17-percent growth year-over-year for the mobile PC industry, only Apple and Toshiba (which ranked fifth) experienced year-over-year growth between 2009 and 2010. Apple played no small part in the overall growth of the industry, since once you take away tablet shipments, mobile PC shipments only saw a 1-percent increase when compared to the previous year. HP, Acer and Dell occupied the second, third and fourth place-spots in the top five, respectively. Combined, the top five brands accounted for 65.4 percent of total mobile PC shipments during the quarter.

Apple was the third-largest global PC maker according to research firm Canalys as of the fourth quarter 2010, when iPads were included, and the third-largest mobile PC maker according to DisplaySearch for the third quarter of 2010.

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