SAN FRANCISCO—Thanks to surging iPad sales, Apple Inc. soared to the top of the heap in worldwide mobile PC shipments in the fourth quarter, garnering a 17.2 percent market share, according to market research firm DisplaySearch.
Apple (Cupertino, Calif.) shipped more than 10.2 million notebook and tablet PCs combined in the fourth quarter, nearly a million more units than Hewlett-Packard Co., DisplaySearch said. While the iPad is benefiting from a first-mover advantage, particularly in mature markets, Apple's notebook PC shipment growth rate continues to exceed the industry average, according to the firm.
"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," said Richard Shim, senior analyst at DisplaySearch. "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."
Total fourth quarter worldwide mobile PC shipments—including tablet PCs—grew to 59.6 million units, but 8 percent compared to the third quarter and up 17 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2009, according to DisplaySearch. Fourth quarter shipments of mobile PCs were likely the highest in any quarter ever—DisplaySearch said it was the highest volume of shipments since the firm began tracking the segment in 1999.
Among the top five brands in the mobile PC market, Japan's Toshiba Corp. was the only other company to exhibit year-to-year shipment growth in the fourth quarter, DisplaySearch said. Toshiba’s fourth quarter shipments increased 15 percent year-to-year to more than 5.1 million units, DisplaySearch said. Toshiba retained its No. 5 ranking among mobile PC vendors.
Some very interesting comments. However, the fact is that the iPad, and many other tablets, exceed the capability of any laptop PC only a few years ago and I doubt if any would argue that those laptops should not be considered mobile PCs. And it is only a matter of a couple more years until the tablets match today's laptop as well, so I think any distinction between them is pretty much moot. I don't think I want to classify my iPhone as a mobile PC only because it is more difficult to use to surf the web due to the keyboard size and the available applications do not quite match up yet, but it doesn't miss by much either.
I bought my first Mac notebook only a few months back. I have to admit the build quality absolutely incredible. The thing I liked the most is the trackpad, I used to carry a wireless mouse all the time, but with the amazing gesture interface of the trackpad, I dont need to carry a mouse anymore. Definitely will buy a mac in the future.
If you pose the question in a certain way you can almost predict the answer being received. If you wanted to show Apple as #1 ahead of HP, add in the iPads. If you wanted to hype Apple's market share in the PC business, add in the iPad's. It is the market research company responsibility to correctly categorize the products it surveys in accordance with generally accepted understanding of those categories.
While they did state that both 'real' PC's and iPads were added together to get the numbers, the headline still reads "....top in mobile PC's shipments". There is no 'mobile PC' category. If blurring categories is a good thing, where does it end, and what is the value of the market research beyond raw numbers of electronic devices made?
@mll1013- there's no question that the lines of these product categories are indeed blurring. It was an interesting choice by DisplaySearch to lump laptops and tablets into the same category, and I'm not sure I've seen other market research firms doing that. But really, how do you separate the two? Ask 10 people, you'll get 10 different answers. Particularly with some of the newer tablets that were shown off at CES, I'm not sure how or where you draw the line. We live in interesting times.
I'm always amazed that my 2003-or-so-era 1.5GHz G4 PowerBook still out-performs my dual-processor, well-over-2GHz Windows machine, in terms of interactivity: Responding to clicks, updating windows, and so forth.
My guess would be that it's back to ye olde VAX wars: It looks like the Unix kernel schedules things more intelligently than Windows' VMS-derived kernel. That plus, I at least think, PCs are sometimes allowed to be sold with too little RAM.
3 different OSs that I have been using for last 5 years. I love Ubuntu the most. Windows 7 has its own problem. So does Apple. I don't think either one is more superior than the other. If I run any Linux application, I will run it on Ubuntu at my desktop and develop it on Ubuntu at my VM running on either of the OS.
Going back to the article, I believe Apple has created a new market which is called mobile devices. I don't think this market shall be categorized into a laptop market since iPad really can't do what a laptop can to some extents although it may be a good device to fit into most people lifestyle.
My wife and I purchased a Win7 Toshiba laptop and a MacBook at about the same time, and the MacBook outcompetes the Win7 box in *every* way. With Windows, you are constantly distracted from your work downloading upgrades and antivirus updates, installing drivers, rebooting the machine, and trying to get third party software to work. The MacBook just leaves you alone, so you can get your work done, and the applications that ship with the system are excellent, including a full suite of development tools (Xcode). As an extra boon, since Mac OS X is based on a FreeBSD, it was fairly easy to port my Linux development project to Mac without the need for installing awkward adaptation layers like CygWin. Is the Apple empire less evil than the Microsoft empire ? Is it worth the extra $$ís ? You decide ..
Exactly the same feeling here. I have someone that sales at discounted price of up to 80% just to get a new one when it is out. A poor student but can pile debt for the latest gidzmo from Apple. That firm is lucky indeed.
No surprises from APPLE, but surprised to see TOSHIBA exhibit year-to-year shipment growth. Does it mean TOSHIBA has good product line up compared to its peers ? How is SAMSUNG WAVE performing in the market ?
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