Apple to Become World’s Top PC Vendor Next Year – Canalys

Apple LogoApple to overtake HP to become the leading global PC vendor before the second half of 2012, says Canalys. Pads, and particularly the iPad, have radically changed the dynamics of the PC industry over the last year, already propelling Apple into second place in the worldwide PC market in Q3 2011. Canalys estimates full-year 2011 global PC shipments to reach 415 million, up 15% year-on-year, thanks predominantly to increasing pad sales.

Total pad shipments are expected to reach 59 million units by the end of 2011, with Q4 volumes predicted to exceed 22 million. While the iPad will dominate in Q4, the recently announced Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are also anticipated to impact the US market.

Vendors overall though are struggling to compete profitably with Apple, as many toil to produce comparable devices at attractive prices. The release of Android 4.0 (ICS) should, however, bolster tier 1 manufacturers, as combining smart phone and pad operating systems will enable developers to adapt existing applications to run on pads. Conversely, the release’s timing may harm vendors looking to capitalize on strong holiday season sales. Much of the IT channel’s stock now runs on older versions of Android 3.1, and many vendors are not forthcoming with upgrade timescales, which will deter informed consumers.

[advt]Notebook sales also helped fuel market growth in 2011, with total shipments anticipated to hit 211 million, a 10% 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.

Canalys Analyst Tim Coulling said:

“Apple has seen its PC market share expand from 9% to 15% 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. 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.”

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