FRANCISCO--Media tablets like Apple Inc.'s iPad and its competitors
accounted for one in three personal computer shipments in the fourth
quarter of 2012, according to a market research firm that lumps tablets
into the broader PC category.
shipments of traditional desktop and notebook PCs have been falling
steadily in recent quarters, tablet shipments have been growing at an
impressive clip. According to Canalys Ltd., an independent analyst firm,
total PC shipments--including tablets--grew 12 in the fourth quarter to
reach 134 million units.
of traditional PCs contracted last year for the first time since 2001
as more consumers opted to buy tablets, which are generally less
expensive and better suited for mobile computing.
to Gartner Inc., which like most research firm tracks tablet and PC
sales separately, worldwide PC shipments totaled 90.3 million units in
the fourth quarter, down 5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011.
to Mikako Kitagawa, a principal analyst at Gartner, tablets have
dramatically changed the landscape for PCs, not just by cannibalizing PC
sales but also by prompting PC users to shift consumption to tablets
rather than replacing older PCs.
as once we imagined a world in which individual users would have both a
PC and a tablet as personal devices, we increasingly suspect that most
individuals will shift consumption activity to a personal tablet, and
perform creative and administrative tasks on a shared PC," Kitagawa
With sales of iPads being lumped into Canalys's PC category, Apple was the
leader in the fourth quarter, shipping 27 million iPads and accounting
for more than 20 percent of the market for the first time, according to
the research firm. Hewlett-Packard Co., which shipped 15 million PCs,
was the second-ranked vendor, beating China's Lenovo Group Ltd. by
200,000 units, according to Canalys (Palo Alto, Calif.). Both HP and Lenovo held about 11
percent of the total market, according to the firm.
Inc.--which announced Tuesday (Feb. 6) plans to go private through a
leveraged buyout--continues to fade in the PC market, Canalys said. Dell
shipped only 9.7 million PCs in the fourth quarter, down 19 percent
from the fourth quarter of 2011, the firm said.
direct business model is "expensive and unsuitable for driving growth
in new markets," Canalys said. "A turnaround in fortunes is likely to
Canalys said its analysts believe the planned buyout would give Dell time
to rethink its strategy and refocus, away from the demands of Wall
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