Apple holiday PC king? Report says yes

In the new world of computers, Apple is the king.

In a report released Wednesday, Canalys, a market research firm, said that Apple was the top “PC” global maker in the fourth quarter, shipping 27 million units. That was 12 million more than second-place Hewlett-Packard, which only barely edged out Lenovo. Apple’s sales gave it 20 percent of the total “PC” market.

Before you start wondering how Apple’s Macs suddenly became a huge hit, you should know that Canalys defines “PCs” broadly. It includes tablet sales with sales of desktops and laptops. As Apple reported last week, it sold 4 million Macs and 22.8 million iPads in the holiday quarter. Its iPad sales alone accounted for more that one in six “PCs” shipped in the quarter.

Still, Apple’s ability to ride the iPad to the top of the “PC” market is emblematic of a larger shift. In the fourth quarter, more than one-third of the 134 million PCs shipped worldwide were tablets, according to Canalys. And while notebook sales were flat with the same period a year earlier, tablet sales grew 75 percent over the same time frame to 46.2 million units.

(Photo courtesy of Apple.)

Troy Wolverton Troy Wolverton (280 Posts)

Troy writes the Tech Files column as the Personal Technology Columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. He also covers the digital media, mobile and video game industries and writes occasionally about Apple, chips, social networking and other aspects of technology. Previously, Troy covered Apple and the consumer electronics industry. Prior to joining the Mercury News, Troy reported on technology, business and financial issues for TheStreet.com and CNET News.com.