LONDON Global PC shipments will be 415 million units in 2011, up 15 percent year-on-year, predominantly thanks to sales of iPad tablet computers, according to market research firm Canalys Ltd.
Tablet shipments are expected to reach 59 million units in 2011 with 22 million shipping in the fourth quarter. While the iPad will dominate in Q4, the recently announced Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are also anticipated to impact the US market, Canalys said.
Tablet computer popularity has propelled Apple into second place in the worldwide PC market in Q3 2011 and Canalys expcts Apple to overtake Hewlett Packard as the leading global PC vendor in the first half of 2012.
"Apple has seen its PC market share expand from 9 percent to 15 percent in just four quarters, though iPad shipments in its core market the United States are likely to come under pressure in Q4 due to the launch of the Fire and Nook at extremely competitive price points," said Canalys Analyst Tim Coulling, in a statement. "HP and Apple will fight for top position in Q4, but Apple may have to wait for the release of iPad 3 before it passes HP."
Notebook sales also helped fuel market growth in 2011, with total shipments anticipated to hit 211 million, a 10 percent year-on-year increase. Canalys expects ultrabooks, bringing much needed innovation to the category, to drive notebook sales over the next five years. With their differentiated appearance, Ultrabooks should spur some consumers to upgrade their existing notebooks.
On a geographical basis Canalys forecasts North America PC shipments to reach 103 million for the whole of 2011, with 32 million units expected in Q4. Overall volumes in 2011 are anticipated to grow 18 percent year-on-year because of the ongoing popularity of tablet computers. Excluding tablets, the market is predicted to grow at less than 1 percent for the year.
The Europe, Middle-east and Africa market excluding tablets is predicted to contract in 2011 by 6 percent, although volumes will peak for the year at 30 million in Q4.
Canalys expects high growth in Latin America and Asia Pacific in Q4, with total volumes for 2011 predicted to reach 40 million and 153 million. Overall, the BRIC countries will account for 28% of worldwide PC shipments in 2011.
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