Every once and a while a story crosses my desk that causes me to just shake my head. Last year research group Canalys decided to include tablets in their calculations for ranking in the personal computing space. Today they announced that Apple became the leading worldwide client PC vendor in Q4 2011.
Now I’m not trying to take anything away from Apple’s great performance last year, but I don’t think that tablets should be counted when sizing up the PC market. If tablets are being used to account for the personal computing market are we also using smartphones when we are taking stock of the digital camera market?
I definitely don’t feel that theis a PC and not because Steve Jobs declared this the post-PC era. The reason why we create these categories is so that we can keep track of what is going on with those devices, my question when are they going to add smartphones into the PC category? The is certainly pushing the boundaries.
Forrester doesn’t include tablets in its PC market research, but it sees the value of doing do. “I think [it] is a very valuable perspective,” says Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps. “iPads (tablets) are a new form factor of PC. iPads broaden the category of ‘computing’ devices, but they are different from older forms of computers in important ways.”
Taking a look at the rest of the report among the other top five PC vendors, only Lenovo managed to increase its market share, by a relatively modest two points. Apple had a six-point gain over the same quarter a year ago. HP, Acer, and Dell all lost market share.
If we count tablets as personal computers Apple sold 15 million iPads and 5 million Macs, representing 17 percent of the total 120 million client PCs shipped globally in the fourth quarter. HP was a distant No. 2 with about 12.7 percent.