iPad Drives Apple to Perch Atop List of Top-Selling PC Manufacturers

Late last year, research firm Canalys predicted that Apple might become the world's largest PC manufacturer during the fourth quarter of 2011 if tablets were counted alongside more traditional computers. With the major firms now having reported their sales numbers for the quarter, Canalys has pieced together the numbers to confirm that Apple has indeed taken the lead on the strength of the iPad.

Canalys today announced that Apple, after reporting stellar results, became the leading worldwide client PC vendor in Q4 2011. Apple shipped over 15 million iPads and five million Macs, representing 17% of the total 120 million client PCs shipped globally in Q4. Overall, the total client PC market, including desktops, netbooks, notebooks, and pads grew 16% year-on-year. Excluding pads, the client PC market declined 0.4%.

The report notes that tablets such as the iPad accounted for 22% of PC sales during the quarter, with the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook also contributing to the strong tablet performance.


Based on data from Canalys and other research firms, it appears that the iPad would have been able to top the list even without the help of the Mac, which itself achieved record sales during the quarter. Apple sold 15.43 million iPads during the quarter, with Canalys, Gartner, and IDC all pegging non-tablet market leader HP's shipments between 14.7 and 15.3 million units.

Whether or not iPads and other tablets should be counted as PCs has become a vigorous debate as observers take differing views on how "personal computers" should be defined. But with Apple making the iPad "PC Free" by eliminating the need to sync to a computer via iTunes and increasing numbers of consumers relying on their iPads for everyday computer functionalities such as browsing, email and music, as well as a broad array of apps, lines between the two types of devices are becoming increasingly blurred.

Related Roundup: iPad
Tag: Canalys
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

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111 months ago
As someone on Engadget commented....

McDonalds is the largest PC manufacturer if you include Big Macs.

Honestly, Apple do well enough without having to pad their numbers.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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111 months ago
so the iPod Touch is a PC too then?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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111 months ago

An iPad is a PC as much as a hammer is a screwdriver!

I have a hammer with a screwdriver in it :)

Also, to see a picture of my hammer/screwdriver, click here:
Image (http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/3369/photoon13112at502pm.jpg)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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111 months ago

Tell me specifically what you can get done on an "early 2000's" iBook that can't be done with an iPad ?

And puhleezz. Lets leave the cd-rom out of the equation. Everybody knows that's so yesterday.


Code? Full Photoshop suite? Have 2 simultaneous windows open? Run multiple operating systems? Use Office suite? Share data between all programs? Manage the OS file system? Attach and photo to an email while being in my email program?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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111 months ago

Personal Computer=PC

And there is no better PC(Personal Computer) than the iPad.

Deal with it.


People need to check their preconceptions about what a "PC" is at the door. We're living in an age of redefinitions and substantial market shifts.


I think the confusion comes from the fact that the iPad even after it became "PC Free" is still far more limited than even the lowest laptop "category" (Netbooks)

I think the definition of a tablet should fall heavily on the OS it runs first and then followed by the hardware it is used on.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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111 months ago

The industry NEEDS the iPad.


Which industry are you referring to? Because the people who need Mac Pros, certainly won't be able to replace what those systems do with these little tablet toys.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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