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iPad propels Apple to top of PC market as growth stalls without tablets

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Apple (s aapl) is the king of the PC heap, as long as you consider the iPad among those devices. Research firm Canalys does, and its most recent look at client PC sales, focusing on the fourth calendar quarter of 2011, shows the PC market growing, but mostly as a result of strong iPad sales for the year.

With Apple’s more than 15 million iPads shipped during the quarter, the worldwide PC market grew 16 percent year over year. Not counting tablets, of which the iPad is easily the most successful, the PC market actually shrank by 0.4 percent worldwide when compared to the same period a year ago, according to the Canalys data.

Apple’s success both with the iPad and its Mac computers allowed it to take top honors for the quarter, knocking HP (s hpq) to second place overall. Canalys says the lack of a valid HP tablet competitor, now that the TouchPad is shelved, will mean that HP will continue to struggle against Apple’s success.

The iPad wasn’t the only tablet to do well during the quarter, however. Canalys says that the Amazon Kindle Fire (s amzn) and Nook Tablet (s bks) also helped contribute to the success of tablets in the U.S. Amazon ranked as the second strongest tablet manufacturer worldwide, while Barnes & Noble took the fourth place spot.

All told, iPads accounted for 22 percent of all worldwide PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2011, as measured by Canalys. It’ll be interesting to see what effect a new iPad launch in the coming months might have on the worldwide momentum of tablets, and the larger PC industry.

5 Responses to “iPad propels Apple to top of PC market as growth stalls without tablets”

  1. tim jones

    When Macs and iPads gets close the 450 million Windows 7 machines out there, and we can even just leave the Windows XP machines out of this, then we can moved these Apple trinkets out of the overpriced, ovehyped niche column


      Overhyped? Do you know why Apple still uses the firewire carry over proprietary connector for it’s iDevices? Because the aftermarket would crucify them. Apple’s iDevices are a singular economic growth engine.
      There are so many 3rd party add-on manufacturers out there that count on that interface being there that Apple can’t change the design to micro-USB when it would actually benefit them in simplifying the design of their own product. Once everything moves to the cloud there will be 450 million obsolete Windows 7 machines. It will be an Apple/Android World that Microsoft will wither and die from.

  2. Steffen Jobbs

    It’s really odd that iPads are selling as well as they are. A couple of years back there were some self-proclaimed tech geniuses claiming that consumers would never buy tablets because they couldn’t use them for anything. Apple was selling a useless product that wouldn’t stand a chance in the world when there were $250 Windows netbooks for sale and supposedly the Windows netbook would become the most prolific mobile device on the planet. The only problem was that tech geniuses are relatively stupid when it comes to consumer needs.

    Tech geniuses only like complicated devices that no consumer really wants to use. Anyway, the $250 Windows netbook could do EVERYTHING and eventually the 20 or so netbook vendors would flood the market with cheap Windows junkbooks and put Apple out of business along with the iPad. Presently, there are almost no Windows netbooks to be found and the ones that can be found are found sitting on shelves collecting dust and half those netbook vendors are out of business.

    See how stupid tech geniuses can be. Never ask a tech genius what’s the next popular consumer device because they’re almost always wrong since they love bleeding edge devices and most consumers don’t. So, the next big thing for tech geniuses will be the Windows 8 tablet because that can do EVERYTHING and MORE. All consumers are supposedly waiting to run Microsoft Office on a tablet because that’s something every consumer needs to use in their daily life. It appears that when Windows 8 tablets hit the streets the tech geniuses are going to prove how stupid they really are by praising it and Microsoft and partners will sell about a million tablets (in a year) just like they always do.

  3. This is temporary. I predict that once Vizio’s ultrabooks disguised as laptops hit the market, they will sweep this segment. Tablets are a great initial experience, but most people I know end up using a laptop in addition to a tablet. A lightweight, sleek laptop with Windows 8 on it (like Vizio’s upcoming line) is exactly what is needed right now.